The Senate through its committee on Industry, took up the Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Dr Dikko Umaru, on criteria used for execution of its projects across the federation and beneficiaries of its programmes.
SMEDAN boss had in his presentation before the Commitee during 2022 budget defence session , chronicled series of projects executed by the agencies across the country and beneficiaries of its poverty – eradicating programmes.
He ran into trouble waters when he informed the Commitee led by Senator Adetokunbo Abiru ( APC Lagos East ) that the Ministry of Finance and Budget Office, release monies for execution of their projects by tagging the ones the releases must be spent on and that the agency’s rural industrilization capacity – building programmes for beneficiaries have covered 576 local government Councils.
He added that 49, 000 Nigerians across the six geo – political zones have benefitted from SMEDAN’s skills development initiatives for vocational enterprises.
But members of the committee like Senators Isa Jibril (APC Kogi East ) Christopher Ekpeyong (PDP Akwa Ibom North West ) etc, kicked against his submission.
Senator Isa Jibril declared that activities of SMEDAN and purported beneficiaries of its empowerment programmes , are zero in Kogi East Senatorial District.
“What criteria are you using to decide states for execution of your projects and beneficiaries of your programmes because as far as Kogi East is concerned , SMEDAN is not known there ” , he said .
Making similar comment, Ekpeyong said, “Submissions made here by the SMEDAN boss , are strange to me because none of what he said , are known to the people of Akwa Ibom North West , who I represent here.”
The Chairman of the committee in his remarks, admonished the agency to focus strictly on its core mandate of providing support for micro and small scale enterprises devoid of any white elephant project.
“Yours is to stimulate the economy and not embark on any politically motivated programmes,” he said.