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Exciting Days Ahead For Plateau Entrepreneurs As PLASMIDA DG Promises Sustained Steady Numerous Interventions For Small And Medium Scale Businesses

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Mr Bomkam Ali Wuyep, the Director General of Plateau State Microfinance Development Agency, PLASMIDA, has reassured that the agency is set to revolutionize the fortunes of entrepreneurs on the Plateau by rolling out interventions to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). This initiative which is poised to transform the business landscape on the Plateau into a mind-blowing and cozy experience for entrepreneurs, providing them with the necessary support and resources to thrive and succeed in their ventures is in tandem with the vision and mission statement of the agency.

Mr Wuyep gave the assurance on POINTBLANK NEWS BLOG INTERACTIVE SESSION on Friday, 19th April, 2024 when he appeared as the 12th Guest of the esteemed platform that connects the leaders in corridors of power with the followers

According to the Director General, “Plateau State is known for its rich cultural heritage and diverse economic activities. The state is home to a growing number of entrepreneurs who are driving innovation and economic growth in various sectors”

“As critical as the roles of entrepreneurs in driving economic growth and development in any society as the backbone of the economy, creating jobs, generating wealth, and fostering innovation, they however, face several challenges that hinder their growth and success, such as lack of access to finance, limited market opportunities, and inadequate business skills”.

“This is where PLASMIDA comes in offering a lifeline to SMEs on the Plateau by providing them with the necessary support and resources to overcome these challenges and thrive in their businesses”.

One of the key interventions that PLASMIDA is rolling out to SMEs is access to finance. Many entrepreneurs struggle to access affordable financing to start or expand their businesses, which hampers their growth and success. “PLASMIDA is addressing this challenge by providing SMEs with access to microfinance loans at competitive interest rates, enabling them to invest in their businesses, purchase equipment, and expand their operations. This financial support is crucial for SMEs to grow and create jobs, contributing to the overall economic development of the Plateau” Mr Wuyep assured.

“The Agency has a work plan which we have been pursuing assiduously. Lack of basic education and entrepreneurial skills still remains a challenge. As an agency we are dealing with it holistically”.

“From the MSME policy, we are going to establish Entrepreneurship clubs in our secondary schools to begin to enshrine the Entrepreneurship mindset at that stage. Secondly, we have mindset reorientation programs for our people for them to begin to un-install their mindsets from white collars jobs to embrace Entrepreneurship and Skills acquisition as a way out of unemployment and poverty”.  

He added that “Through our coaching and mentoring programs,  we push for knowledge transfer, increased networking opportunities, career advancement amongst many other benefits. In addition to access to finance, PLASMIDA, a creation of Plateau State Government to drive entrepreneurship is also providing SMEs with business development support and training to enhance their skills and capabilities. Many entrepreneurs lack the necessary business skills and knowledge to effectively manage and grow their businesses”.

PLASMIDA is creating market linkages for SMEs to connect them with potential buyers and partners, both locally and internationally. PLASMIDA is facilitating partnerships and collaborations between SMEs and larger companies, government agencies, and international organizations to help SMEs expand their market reach and increase their sales. This support is crucial for SMEs to scale up their businesses and compete in the global marketplace, positioning them for long-term success and sustainability.

Reeling out the success story of the agency so far, he said “As an Agency, we have partnered with the Federal Government MDAs, some State Government MDAs, International Donor Organizations, Development Finance Institutions, etc to roll out intervention programs in the State”.

“For example, we have partnered with the FG in the implementation of the Survival fund program where grants were given to artisans on the Plateau. About 12,000 artisans benefited, under the payroll support component, 17, 000 people benefited and under the business formalization, about 6,000 businesses were formalized”.

“We have done skills acquisition programs where 4000 youths and women benefitted. We are also in partnership with the ITF in implementing the National Skills Industrial Development Program”.

“We have also partnered with the BOI as the only State Agency in the Country during the Market ‘moni’ disbursement to businesses where about 29000 benefitted”.

“The Agency is also an accredited EDC of the CBN and BOI where we have equipped our MSMEs with entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills. We have also trained MSMEs on digital literacy skills where they can take advantage of technology to expand their markets”.

“Among many other initiatives, we have made a lot of successes which has led to increased revenue generation and direct employment. We have supported over 150,000 MSMEs through various types of interventions, linkages ranging from Access to Finance, Access to markets, Business Development Services which includes Entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, digital marketing skills, coaching and mentorship etc, provision of grants, business formalization and Skills development. We have desk officers in all the 17 local government areas. Their offices are domiciled in the Local Government Councils”.

Speaking earlier on the mandate of his agency that is crucial in sinking youth restiveness by providing them with gainful ventures and plummeting over dependence on government’s few job opportunities, the vibrant and intellectually sound Director General said “last two weeks, One of the strategic priority areas is to facilitate the access to funding for MSMEs. His Excellency the Executive Governor of Plateau State Bar Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang last two weeks approved the Plateau MSME Policy. Therein the policy is a provision for the establishment of MSME Development Fund”.

Dropping the cheering news of sustained interventions, the DG said “In the coming days we hope to place the MSME fund as a matching fund with the BOI who will double the amount. The advantage of this to our MSMEs is that they will be able to access cheap funding”.

“The interest rate is 5% per annum. Again the way the principal is structure, only half of the total money assessed will be charged interest. This is current initiative of His Excellency, Barr Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang”.

“Secondly, he has also approved the second phase of the NG-CARES programme. Where businesses will have access to grants to take care of some overheads and also have access to android phones to help in expanding their market reach. We have also partnered with commercial banks and Microfinance Banks to get cheap funds for our MSMEs on the Plateau.  Talks are also on with Development Finance Institutions for single digit loans for our MSMEs”

Mr Wuyep concluded that “Recently His Excellency the Executive Governor of Plateau State Bar Caleb Mutfwang through the Secretary to the Government of the State Arc Samuel Jatau launched the first Plateau Job Center. It is the first in the north. The main objectives of the Job Center is (1) facilitate employment for Job seekers (2) assist employers in finding suitable candidates (3) Promoting fair and inclusive labour markets and (4) Enhancing workforce skills and employability.  Services of the Job Centers include employability skills training, job matching, job search assistance, profiling, etc. The job center is located in our office at PLASMIDA beside Nigeria Film Corporation, Millionaires Quarters in Jos. He enjoined the citizens to take advantage of this noble initiative of THE TIME IS NOW administration to be productive and economically independent

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