The Director-General of SMEDAN, Mr Dikko Radda, who made this known in abuja,Nigeria’s capital, said that the IDCs were established to carry out technical appraisal of loan applications, provide industrial extension services, as well as train entrepreneurs.
He explained that the IDCs were also meant to engage in applied research into industrial products involving design for small scale businesses to purchase and install machinery.
According to him, the agency in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) had carried out a study of the viability of the centres.
He added that the bank sponsored the study at a cost of more than 600,000 dollars for the six months period.
The Director General said that the major challenge of the centres was encroachment, due to a long period of neglect, which had led to their deplorable state.
Radda said that the team that carried out the study visited all the centres, and was able to come up with outline business scale for the 23 IDCs.
“What we intend to do when we came in was to see how we can get the centres working and turn them into enterprises clusters in order to achieve its objectives.
“I believe that by the end of June, the project with the bank will come to conclusion.
“What we are waiting for is the submission of the full business scale for six out of the 23 centres,’’ he said.
According to him, the centres located in the six geo-political zones, are presently being classified based on the products available in their areas.
“We have the centres at Kastina, Kano, Zaira, Sokoto, Ilorin, Plateau, Makurdi, Yola, Maiduguri, Bauchi, Lagos (Ikorodo), Ogun (Abeokuta), Ondo (Akuru), Osun (Osogbo), Owerri, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Port-Harcourt, Cross River, Niger, Benin (Edo), Taraba and the FCT,’’ Radda added.
Radda said that after the submission of the report on the viability of the centres, the agency would source for funds from either the Federal Government, private sector or developmental agencies to revive the centres to world enterprises clusters.
The cluster is meant to accelerate Nigeria’s industrial growth and position the country as a hub of trade facilitation in West Africa.
It would also enable government to concentrate infrastructure and other amenities necessary for the smooth operation of businesses in identified locations.