The Director General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, has said that the federal government is committed to assisting entrepreneurs from the Aba business cluster to further develop and standardise their products to meet national and international markets requirements.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja on the 2021 Made-in -Aba Trade Fair, Radda said the exhibition had become an important annual feature in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) business promotion calendar in the country.
According to him, the ‘Made in Aba Trade Fair’ remains a flagship trade promotion activity between the National Assembly and SMEDAN through the Zonal Intervention Programmes.
He said part of the objective were to bring to limelight the challenges and prospects of MSMEs, increase public awareness among the target participants on the strategic benefit of taking part in the fair as well as other SMEDAN programmes and achievements within the year under reference.
The SMEDAN boss also explained that the initiate sought to create public awareness about the agency activities and programmes.
He said as the agency responsible for the development and promotion of MSMEs in the country, SMEDAN would be marking the the event annually, ensuring that the fair is a major tool for promotion, communication, marketing, networking and strong platform for cross fertilization of ideas.
He said the event would be implemented in three phases including the pre-exhibition, exhibition, and post-exhibition.
He said considering the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses, individual income, GDP and the economy as a whole, the theme of the fair would center around ‘’Harnessing Business Opportunities Beyond COCID-19 Drawbacks” as well as sub-theme as “MSMEs: the Bedrock for Nation Building and Inclusive Recovery’’.
He said,”There is no better time than now for the indigenes of Abia State to leverage on government intervention programmes to enhance their products and services especially in the areas where they have comparative and competitive advantages.”
He further explained that the event is tagged “Made in Aba” “because it is a rare opportunity for clusters in Aba to interact with the agency one-on-one, acquire business information, make general enquiries and access to free business counselling, meet with businesses and other agencies for enquiries, access to relevant information peculiar to their various businesses as well as appreciate and promote locally made goods and services.
On the supply side, he said the fair also gives the agency the opportunity to assess the capabilities of MSMEs to enable it design need-based intervention programmes for the sector.