By Stanley Onyekwere
In a bid to boost the capacity of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in Abuja, the nation’s capital city the management of Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA), has disclosed plans to establish a state-of the-art digital academy, in no distant time.
The acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of AEA, Mr. Chudi Ugwuada Ezirigwe, who made the disclosure yestetday, said the proposed academy, which is expected to serve as a centralize hub for SMEs, would in addition deepen SMEs business activities as well as open new market opportunities.
Briefing newsmen on its activities and future projections during the end of the year media parley, the acting CEO, the Ezirigwe also hinted that another plan is underway to set up a world-class Automobile Service Centre and Pantaker Enterprise Incubation Hub, aimed at giving young people the platform to put their potentials to productive use.
He added that the overall objective is to make Abuja stand out as the leading city for entrepreneurial development in Nigeria.
Furthermore, he noted that the Agency is also working assiduously to support the growth of 150,000 MSMEs, expand the provision of business development services to cover 50,000 MSMEs, strengthen the entrepreneurial eco-system synergy coordination as well as positioning FCT as a clean energy city.
The AEA boss listed the achievements of the agency within the period under review to include: financing of 4,761 businesses, sensitization and promotion of entrepreneurship to 9,557 people, provision of business support services to 3,691 rural entrepreneurs in the six Area Councils of FCT, facilitation of dialogue and interactive sessions between MSMEs and regulatory organisations, engagement with the community and rehabilitation of Cassava Processing Centre in Chikuku in Kwali Area Council and revitalization of Shea Butter Project Concept in Abaji Area Council.
He revealed that in the area of corporate partnership, European Union as a formidable partner for supporting the Agency in the growth of SMEs; KOICA and JICA for building staff capacity, Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC) ,for business registration and incorporation facilitation, as well as SMEDAN for midwifing business funding and NIDTA for information technology training for the staff of the Agency, amongst others.
Ezirigwe also pledged the support of the AEA management and staff to the Minister of FCT, Barrister Nyesom Wike and the Honourable Minister of State, FCT, Hajiya Mariya Mahmoud in their efforts to provide enduring infrastructure in Abuja, in line with the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.