Written by Godfrey AKON

SMEDAN to complete Idu furniture, wood enterprises in 2021

Work on the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria’s furniture and wood enterprise cluster located in Idu Industrial Development Centre, Abuja, will be completed this year.

Director-Genera of SMEDAN, Dr. Dikko Radda, gave the assurance in Abuja while leading journalists on a tour of the facility on Thursday.

Radda, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Department of Engineering Technology and Infrastructure in SMEDAN, Mr Anthony Igba, said the project which began in 2020 has already reached 80 per cent completion

While stating that the African Development Bank, AfDB, provided a grant of $600.000 for SMEDAN to conduct a viability study for the conversion of the IDCs across the country into cluster parks, he expressed optimism that the pilot project will be completed at the end of 2021, based on availability of funds.

The SMEDAN boss noted that in its bid to make the IDCs functional, the agency conducted a viability study in 2018 to ascertain if they are viable in Nigeria with comparative advantage for marketability in huge markets, hence Abuja was chosen for the pilot furniture project.

“The study showed that the conversion of the IDCs into a furniture clusters will be a viable project and equally provide the type of infrastructure and machineries to be put in place to equip the entrepreneurs.

“This project will enable the MSMEs to come up with products that are competitive within the West African market region, it will take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“Through this, there will be creation of jobs, employments and economy of scales by having a shared infrastructure and common facility.

“There will also be a One-Stop-Shop comprising SMEDAN and other regulatory agencies namely Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Environmental Board.

“The MSMEs that will be operational in the cluster will have easy access of product testing and certification, while it will provide machineries and facility to enable quality products and competitiveness,’’ he said.

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