The National Open University of Nigeria's Centre for Human Resource Development (NOUN CHRD) has sought a strong partnership with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) in Kaduna.
The director of the centre, Dr. Aminu Umar, led a high powered delegation to the SMEDAN office in Kaduna to seek for partnership in the area of training in both formal and informal education.
Speaking during the visit, Dr. Umar conveyed the felicitation of the Vice-chancellor NOUN Professor Olufemi Peters for giving the university the opportunity to interact and build a strong relationship between the two parties.
He expressed that the National Open University of Nigeria in the last ten years has continued waxing stronger.
The director stated that the university is well represented across the Federation with 103 Study Centres out of which three were domiciled in Kaduna and a Special Study Centre at Kaduna Central Custodial Centre.
He further highlighted that the Centre for Human Resource Development is the only center outside the university headquarters, situated in Kaduna and continues to maintain its status.
The Centre as an arm of the university was established to provide both formal and informal education.
He stressed that the Centre was blessed with both human resource and modern technology facilities for the training of artisans in the state and beyond that is greatly being underutilised.
The director explained that the Academic staff capacity of the university amounts to 2000 ranging from humanity to Sciences.
He, therefore, called for a workable partnership with the SMEDAN.
Umar added that the Centre has been in partnership with the Kaduna State Government and trained about six hundred artisans in different trades and are now awaiting the commencement of the second batch.
"We want to start aggressive training of Artisans in the State," he said.
With regards to the business status of the university, Umar explained that it is not a profit inclined institution but to provide corporate social responsibility to the country.
The director appealed to management of the SMEDAN to grant the partnership a speedy approval.
In his response, the Zonal Director, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, SMEDAN Kaduna, Mr. Badamasi Ya'u Barau appreciated the visit and stated that it was an effort towards aiding economic development in the country.
He added that the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) was established by the SMEDAN Act, 2003 to promote the development of the MSMEs of the Nigerian economy.
It was established to facilitate the promotion and development of the Micro Small and Enterprises sector in an efficient and sustainable manner.
Mr. Barau added that it is for initiating and articulating policy ideas for the Small and Medium Enterprises growth and development promoting and facilitating development programs.
“Strategically, SMEDAN is placed to tell where finance is, where raw materials are and how to harness them,” said Barau.
The Zonal Director maintained that SMEDAN doesn't give money but provide workspace and equipment.
“SMEDAN is a linking agency of opportunities that is trying to change the mindset of the MSMEs from production to processing,” he said.
However, Barau explained that there was a paradigm shift which stated that "Go to school, acquire the result and learn the skills because entrepreneurship is the only alternative.”
He thanked the management of the Centre for Human Resource Development and pledged his readiness for the collaboration.