1. Small and Medium enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN)
We have followed closely the operations of this agency in the last three (3) years and made the following sad discoveries;
I. SMEDAN has no articulated training framework that seeks to provide Nigerians skills proficiency in productive engagement. The trainings conducted by SMEDAN are often a repetition of previous years exercise, targeting same participants and achieving no tangible result.
II.SMEDAN is meant to be the agency championing the growth of the SME sub-sector of the Nigerian economy but has a limited understanding of what this task implies as it only conducts trainings that are not premised on any tangible deliverables.
Having observed this from our interactions with persons trained by the agency and some staffs of the agency, we set out to obtain records of the activities of the agency in the last five years and wrote under the FOI ACT and copied the minister of investment, trade and industries and sadly, over thirty days after, the agency nor the minister has bothered to release the sought information or bother to provide any clarification as to why it is unable to release or won’t release the sought information.
2. INDUSTRAIL TRAINING FUND
Just as is the case for SMEDAN, we carefully undertook a review of the known programmes of the agency in the last three (3) years and made the following rather disturbing findings;
1. ITF has no articulated training framework that seeks to help Nigerian youths attain skills proficiency even in minute areas such as fixing mobile phones and the likes and yet spends several hundreds of millions under the guise of training Nigerian youths.
2. ITF has remained an agency that receives more than it should from the federation account following its abysmal performance as relates to its mandate and in unable to articulate a training programme that will help grow the Nigerian economy.
As is the case in SMEDAN, we wrote the management of the agency and copied the minister and got no response, despite the fact that we wrote under the FOI ACT.
3. NATIONAL DIRECTORATE OF EMPLOYEMENT
The situation here is no different from that of the two agencies listed above except that we got a response asking for a one week extension to enable the agency provide us the sought information, thirty days after, we still awaiting the response.
4. CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA 220BN MSMEDF INITIATIVE
This breaks our hearts the most.
We won’t proceed to write an epistle on it but rather will encourage you to visit our download/ publications section for greater revelations. We will only add that the fund was largely used as parting gifts for erstwhile governors and welcoming package for some new governors. We wish to also state that having discovered gross violations of the guideline governing the 220bn MSMEDF fund and our belief that such violations would have only been done with active connivance of very senior CBN officials we decided to undertake the following;
i. Review of all funding initiatives targeting MSMES as launched and managed by the CBN from 1999 till date
We then wrote the CBN governor under the FOI ACT on the 3rd December 2015 asking for information on its past activities as relates to funding interventions for the sub-sector and got no response, we wrote a reminder again on the 14th January 2016 and yet no response and have written to inform them our lawyers will be writing them on our intent to initiate legal actions against the bank.