Ahead of the Katsina State governorship election in 2023, religious leaders, Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria (COCSON), Project 20 Million, and Young Professionals in Politics, have backed the Director-General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Umaru Dikko Radda, to succeed the incumbent governor, Aminu Masari.
Others backing the SMEDAN DG to succeed Masari were Nigerian Youth Congress, Nigerian Students, and Katsina Stakeholders.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the group’s coordinator, Ikechukwu Chukwunyere, said that with his experience, Radda will take the state to an enviable height.
The groups also said that his experience as the erstwhile National Welfare Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former chairman of Charanchi local government area of the State from 2005 to 2007 as well as a two-time caretaker chairman of the local government under late Governors Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Shehu Shema administrations respectively, have endowed him with a great wealth of knowledge to pilot the affairs of Katsina State to greater heights.
“We strongly believe that given the APC governorship ticket, Dr. Radda would use his experience as the former Chief of Staff to Governor Aminu Masari, to end the state’s intractable woes and bring about sustainable economic prosperity in the state.
“If given the opportunity to serve, his administration will tackle insecurity, increasing rate of poverty, poor access to social infrastructure, underdeveloped economic sector, lack of integration to national value chains, low-level of education, and inadequate support for businesses in the state,” they said.
The groups listed his achievements as the DG of SMEDAN, which they believe will give him an edge to succeed as Katsina state governor including; “Implementation of the Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) for micro-entrepreneurs in Nigeria programme where not fewer than 51,000 entrepreneurs have benefited from capacity building, micro insurance, registration with Corporate Affairs Commission, financial inclusion account opening), grants of N50,000 each and delivery of business development services across more than 15 states in Nigeria.
“Implementation of the One Local Government One Product (OLOP) programme where thousand of entrepreneurs under 563 cooperatives and operating within organic clusters have benefited from types of equipment, workspace and working capital supports in the form of grant and soft loans as well as capacity building, access to markets and delivery business development services across all states of the federation including FCT.
“Establishment of Accreditation and Certification Framework for Business Development Service Providers (BDSPs) in Nigeria to ensure that BDS delivery services to MSMEs maintain a minimum standard.
“Conducted 2017 and 2021 National Survey on MSMEs in partnership with National Bureau of Statistics to ensure availability of credible data for planning purposes within the MSME sub-sector in Nigeria.
“Upgrading of the Industrial Development Centers (1DC) for purposes of providing serviced workspaces for MSMEs in Nigeria.
“Establishment of the Market Place MSME Database in Nigeria to ensure that critical specific data is available for stakeholders within the MSMEs ecosystem in Nigeria.
“Introduction of Mass Registration of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises MSMEs in Nigeria. The registration exercise facilities the development of a comprehensive database for MSMEs across Nigeria and a Unique identification number was created for them. Under the MMRP, Over 3 million MSMEs have been registered with their locations, the kind of business they do their phone numbers, and email addresses which makes it easier to attract clients that will require their products and services.
“Implementation of Young Business Owners Programme, It is towards addressing the economic challenges that Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has initiated the Young Business Owners in Nigeria (Y-BON). The programme is to empower business owners between the ages of 20 and 45 to reduce unemployment and improve on the self dependence among the youths.
“Implementation of Agri-business Development Empowerment Programme which aim to promote and facilitate the development programmes and projects in the MSMEs sub-sector of the Nigerian economy.
“Implementation of talent hunt in Nigeria which is geared towards employment generation through wealth creation and self-reliance, thereby reducing poverty among young people in Nigeria. SMEDAN Talent Hunt is designed to identify and showcase young change agents in Nigeria who developed Innovative, Creative and Entrepreneurial sustainable solutions that have positive socioeconomic impact on any identified local community in Nigeria.”