By Yinka Kolawole
THE Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has commenced moves aimed at actualising the One-Local Government-One Product (OLOP) programme as provided for in the 2017 appropriation Act.
The OLOP programme is a bottom-top approach specifically designed to promote Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) development in communities by focusing on products distinctive to the each locality where they have comparative advantage, and cultivate same through value-addition into a national and global brand.
As part of its implementation strategy, SMEDAN has called for expression of interest from financial institutions and cooperative societies/Self Help Groups (SHG) across the country.
When contacted to confirm the response so far to the expression of interest, SMEDAN’s Director, Enterprise Development and Promotion, Dr. Wale Fasanya, did not pick his call and he had not replied to the text message sent to him at the time of filing this report.
The document on invitation for expression of interest stated: “Interested Cooperative Societies/Self Help Groups and Community Development Associations who wish to participate in the programme are advised to forward their Expression of Interest to the Agency.
“Qualifications for participation/requirements include: Evidence of registration with relevant State Ministry and/or Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC); Must be into agro-processing and/or agri-business; Must have been in existence for at least one (1) year. Applications are invited from the six geo-political zones across the country.
“Interested Development Banks, Money Deposit Banks, Micro-Finance Banks and Equipment Leasing Companies, etc., wishing to partner the Agency for provision of financial services are to submit their applications/proposals. Qualifications for participation/requirements include: Evidence of registration with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC); Copy of Operating license by CBN; Provide detailed Company Profile including Form C07; Company Audited Accounts for last three (3) years; Evidence of similar partnerships undertaken previously or currently being executed and; Willingness to match own funds.”
It would be recalled that SMEDAN developed the OLOP programme in April 2009 to revitalize the rural economy, improve employment opportunities and alleviate poverty in rural areas. This was based on the One-Village-One-Product (OVOP) movement implemented in the Oita Prefecture in Japan.
The governments of both Nigeria and Japan agreed to implement a technical cooperation programme to verify implementation methods and institutional arrangements for the promotion of OLOP.
Pilot projects were conducted in Kano and Niger States involving baseline and value-chain surveys and analysis, while Business Development Services (BDSs) were delivered to approximately 50 selected enterprises that manufactured six products. These products are Rice, Groundnut Oil and Leather Products for Kano State and Yam, Groundnut Oil and Shea nut for Niger State.
Based on the lessons learnt from the pilot projects, SMEDAN is now set to implement the programme in all States of the Federation and Local Government Areas, anchoring on the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP).