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NCC, SMEDAN collaborate on digital scheme for SMEs

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has partnered the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN, to establish a SME Digital Academy.

The commission said in a statement by its director, public affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, that the move is part of efforts to give expression to its faith in the value of strategic partnership and commitment to collaboration.

Adinde explained that the SME Digital Academy is a public-private partnership initiative being driven by the NCC, SMEDAN, and Sapphital Learning Limited, a leading digital learning platform, essentially to provide micro, small and medium enterprises, MSME, owners with digital skills to enhance their entrepreneurial skills.

According to him, the partnership also aims to equip entrepreneurs and start-ups with the necessary digital skills required to navigate the increasingly digitised world.

The statement quoted the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, as saying the setting up of the scheme was based on the realization that in today’s global economy, a borderless educational and economic system will be the next stage of the digital economy.

Dambatta spoke at the launch, which took place at NEXIM House in Abuja recently, where he was represented by NCC’s Director, Digital Economy, Dr. Austin Nwaulune,

He noted that, while the collaboration between the NCC and SMEDAN was a step towards economic diversification, digital technologies were key in the implementation of this initiative.

Speaking further, he said the NCC had continued to work towards providing information and communications technology, ICT, support to various sectors in the country.

He also noted that with over 41 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, in Nigeria, proper empowerment of entrepreneurs would create an extremely powerful impact on the nation’s economic growth.

Danbatta said SMEs’ empowerment would also help in providing employment, lessening societal vices, developing the economy, increasing foreign exchange as well as improving the general well-being of Nigerians.

“Knowledge is pivotal to the growth of entrepreneurship, as it provides the businessman or woman, the know-how on raising capital, strategic partnership, and proper organisational, administrative, sales and marketing skills required to run an effective business. Knowledge is, therefore, the food of every economy, especially, the digital economy, as it fuels its growth and stimulated the digital ecosystem,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, the Director-General of SMEDAN, Dr. Dikko Radda, who was represented by the Director, Enterprise Development and Promotion at the agency, Moses Ewans, expressed delight at the partnership with the NCC, and declared that over 41.5 million MSME were domiciled in Nigeria.

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