Lagos - The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) says it has the capacity to produce five million jobs by 2015.
Mr Gbenga Ogundeji Head, South-West Zone of the agency, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday.
He said that the agency had already mapped out plans to achieve this objective.
``SMEDAN is working hard to create a value chain for the provision of more jobs through development of small and medium-scale businesses in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Ogundeji said the agency was in partnership with all the states through various programmes to ensure the target was met.
He listed the partnerships to include the “One Local Government, One Product (OLOP)” programme aimed at providing assistance to the agricultural sector.
``Our major target is in food production and expanding businesses with improved access to loans through our partnership with the Bank of Industry and this is already in place.
``The expanded businesses and food production scheme would provide at least five jobs each which would in turn produce more," Ogundeji said.
He called on state governments to sensitise their entrepreneurs and youths to be ready to cooperate with SMEDAN to provide the necessary assistance to their businesses.
Ogundeji also urged business owners to endeavour to get their businesses registered with relevant trade associations including the newly introduced e-registration system for small and medium enterprises.
According to him, the registration would create the database that the government and the agency would need to determine the progress on job creation.
NAN reports that Mr Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Trade and Investment, last year announced the mandate by the Federal Government for SMEDAN and Bank of Industry to produce five million jobs in 2015.