As fallout of the recent D-8 Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Working Group meeting held in Abuja, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) would soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Small and
Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) of Pakistan in areas of cluster development and capacity building for SMEs
The partnership which is being facilitated by the Pakistani High Commission in Nigeria according to the Acting High Commissioner, Ahmed Ali Sirohey, is in the spirit of the D-8 Group’s objective to diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations. The partnership according to him would also afford both agencies the opportunity to cross fertilize and interface on areas that would be beneficial to small and medium entrepreneurs in both countries.
At a courtesy call on the Pakistani Acting High Commissioner in Abuja , the Director- General of SMEDAN, Alhaji Muhammad Nadada Umar expressed happiness that the Pakistani Government had really lived up to expectation in the area of developing the SME sector in his country, adding that Nigeria had a lot to learn from the experience of Pakistan.
Alhaji Umar noted that the presentation of Pakistan at the recent D-8 meeting was an eye-opener to Nigeria. He informed the High Commissioner about various achievements of SMEDAN which include carrying out a final ratification of the SME policy, soon to be passed on to the Federal Executive Council for approval, initiating the One Local Government, One Product (OLOP) program, which it borrowed from the Japanese Model in various parts of the country, establishing the Rural Women Entrepreneurship Development Program (RUWEDEP), and recently completing the compilation of a comprehensive database of MSMEs in Nigeria.
He called on the Pakistani government to assist SMEDAN in the area of cluster development as the agency was planning to develop a furniture cluster in the FCT.
Responding, the Acting High Commissioner, Ahmed Ali Sirohey congratulated SMEDAN for successfully hosting the D-8 SME working group meeting, adding that the participation of all the countries at the meeting testified to the importance which the D-8 countries attached to economic integration.
Ambassador Sirohey said he was willing to facilitate a meeting between SMEDAN and SMEDA of Pakistan with a view to signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the area of SME development. He also expressed the willingness of the Pakistani government to collaborate with SMEDAN to stage a forum for the benefit of Pakistani businessmen, exporters and manufacturers who would be visiting Nigeria on a trade mission between August and September. He said that the Pakistani government was also seeking joint venture partnership with Nigeria’s private sector and called on SMEDAN to assist in line with the objectives of the D-8 countries.