The Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) of the Federal Government empowered 2070 entrepreneurs in Sokoto with a grant of N103.5million.
The sum of N50,000 was granted to a total of 90 beneficiaries from each of the 23 local government areas in the state.
Owning an existing or initiated business that is registered or would be registered among all categories of trades with proper identifications is the criteria for which the beneficiaries were selected.
Women Cooperative Societies were selected in Goronyo, Shagari and Illela local government areas, which included processors of groundnut, rice and cassava products.
Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda the Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), said at the flag off ceremony of the conditional grant scheme in Sokoto that : “This present initiative looks to promoting the activities of micro enterprises across the country in the areas of capacity building and the delivery of post-intervention support services such as access to finance (conditional grants), market, workplace, technology etc.”
The DG further explained that the process would enable informal enterprises metamorphose into formal sector, industrialize the nation, develop the rural economy, stem youth restiveness and unemployment as well as create sustainable economic growth and development.
Dr. Radda expressed Federal Government’s commitment to its scheme of ‘One LG, One Product’ support initiative in each of the 109 Senatorial District in the country to boost small scale enterprises.
The Minister of State for Commerce, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, underscored the justification for a special entrepreneurship/vocational development intervention for entrepreneurs at the bottom of the pyramid based on the need to industrialize the nation.
“The micro, small and medium enterprises represent one of the most important subsectors of our economy. It currently represents 96% of the businesses in Nigeria and contributes 84.02% to the National Labour Force,” Hajia noted.
The minister added that: “Of the 37 million MSMEs in Nigeria, over 36 million are microenterprises. Thus, growth of the sector is directly correlated with growth in the economy as a whole and in the level of employment throughout Nigeria.”
The Chairman, Northern Senators Forum and immediate past governor of the state, Aliyu Wamakko commended the federal government for this initiative.
He referred to the scheme as a catalyst in economic development, especially at the grassroots.