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New SMEDAN Director-General Takes Office with Promise of Boosted Funding and Institutional Backing for Small and Medium Enterprise

October 16, 2023


Charles Odii, the newly-appointed Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), was at the corporate HQ of the agency on Monday, Oct 16, to formally assume the position following his appointment last week.

He was received by the outgoing DG of the agency, Dr Olawale Fasanya, and other principal and directing staff who delivered a general briefing at a familiarisation meeting.

In his address, Charles Odii thanked the members of staff for their warmth and goodwill. Noting the spirited commitment of the past leadership to the agency’s core objective of facilitating the growth and expansion of SMEs, he underscored the need to revamp processes and interventions for greater achievements.

He said: “Our mandate is to the nation’s main driver of economic growth, the source of innovation and the engine of job creation. We have the duty to ensure that SMEs receive the support and resources they need to thrive.”

“Under my leadership, and together with all of you and other relevant agencies of government, our processes and interventions will be revamped for excellence.”

“We will leverage useful tools and technology to achieve our core objective, beginning with the rapid formalisation of small and medium-sized businesses to improve the quality of our data and the services we provide.”

“Nigerians should be able to conceive of an idea and register a business seamlessly. They must be given a fighting chance with readily available access to funding and a business environment conducive to growth.”

“We will work with private and public institutions at all levels to achieve this,” he added.

In his own remark, the outgoing DG, Dr Fasanya expressed confidence in the new DG’s capabilities given his years of experience in the sector.

He said: “I’ve met Mr Charles Odii previously, before I knew he’ll be succeeding me. He has always been passionate about the ecosystem and proposed workable ideas in the past for execution by the agency. I warmly welcome him and offer the assurance of my continuous support.”

Other members of staff cheered the new DG’s message of a shared vision and equally pledged to offer their best to achieve his goals for the agency.

Present at the meeting were also senior government officials and stakeholders including the Minister of State for Youth Development, Hon. Ayodele Olawande.

After the meeting, the new DG conducted an inspection tour of the HQ and interfaced with the departmental staff present.


Charles Odii, a 35-year-old indigene of Delta State, is a renowned business development expert who has founded and spearheaded various initiatives in Nigeria and across Africa to support the growth of MSMEs, improve national productivity, and provide gainful engagement opportunities for young people who account for an overwhelming majority of the continent’s population.

He founded SME100Africa in 2015 and through the initiative offered training and empowerment to thousands of entrepreneurs in Nigeria and beyond with capacity building programs, financing opportunities and policy advocacy.

Charles also founded the ‘25 under 25’ initiative which was designed to identify, celebrate and empower young Nigerians under the age of 25 redefining sectors and accelerating economic growth through entrepreneurship ideas and innovations. Other programs and initiatives he founded include the International Women’s Day Summit (100women.ng), the Nigeria Small Business Summit (nigeriasmesummit.com), and 100ClubAfrica.

He boasts of professional work experience spanning reputable local and international firms such as Elephant Healthcare, United Kingdom, where he led business development as Country Manager

Peter Adeshina
SA on Communications and Strategy to the DG, SMEDAN.
Oct 16, 2023.

























Source/Photos: Imran Muhammad/X

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