The Senate committee on Industry on Wednesday, asked the Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, Dikko Umaru, to explain criteria used to execute its projects across the federation and list the beneficiaries of its programmes .
The SMEDAN boss in his presentation before the Commitee during 2022 budget defence, listed series of projects executed by the agency across the country and revealed the beneficiaries of its poverty – eradicating programmes.
Trouble, however, started when he informed the Committee, led by Senator Adetokunbo Abiru, that the Ministry of Finance and Budget Office, released funds for the execution of their projects.
He said the agency had covered 576 local government councils .
He added that 49,000 Nigerians across the six geopolitical zones had benefitted from SMEDAN’s skills development initiatives for vocational enterprises .
Members of the committee including Senators Isa Jibril and Christopher Ekpeyong, among others, kicked against his submission .
Jibril alleged that the activities of SMEDAN and purported beneficiaries of its empowerment programmes, are zero in Kogi East Senatorial District .
He said, “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.”
Ekpeyong in his contributions said, “The 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 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.
He said, “Yours is to stimulate the economy and not embark on any politically motivated programmes”