Within weeks of its launch, more than 40,000 people have applied for the federal government’s COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (CARES) fund, officials have said.
The programme is a covid-19 emergency response intended to reduce the negative consequences of the pandemic on businesses, said the Director General of the Plateau State Microfinance Development Agency (PLASMIDA), Mr. Bonkam Wuyep on 20 June.
Receiving an award of excellence from the Legislative Writers Forum of the National Assembly in his office in Jos, Wuyep noted NG-CARES aims to facilitate economic recovery and enhance the capability of Micro, small and medium scale enterprises in the State.
A $750million financial grant has been allocated by the World Bank through the Nigerian Central Bank for this purpose, he said.
Presenting an “Excellence Leadership Award” to Mr. Wuyep on behalf of more than 100 members, leader of the Legislative Writers Forum Mr. Akpeh Sunday lauded Wuyep’s “prudence” and “ingenuity” in creating unique models leading to the rise of local SMEs through the agency’s backing.
A release from PLASMIDA press department mailed to The Light Bearer quotes Sunday saying “The Forum carried out an independent and an unbiased assessment into the activities and achievements of numerous Ministries, Agencies and Departments of Government in Plateau State,” “[Our] findings led to the selection of Mr. Bomkam Ali Wuyep who is the Director General of the Agency thereby deserving of the “Excellence Leadership Award” particularly for the result oriented approach to management and also for his prudence in the management of funds in the delivery of projects.”
According to Wuyep, PLASMIDA, created to eliminate poverty through the creation of employment has trained and given grants to over 5000 artisans facilitate federal grants for 30, 000 businesses as well as partnered with the Federal Government to successfully implement the Survival Fund where 37, 000 people benefitted in the State.
In his words: “It has also partnered with the Bank of Industry (BOI) as the ONLY State Government Agency in the Country to implement “Market moni” and “Trader moni” where over 20,000 MSMEs benefitted.
“Also, the Agency was accredited by the Central Bank of Nigeria as an Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) with the core responsibility of training MSMEs on entrepreneurship and linking them to sources of finance available in the CBN and Nirsal Microfinance Bank.
“We have as partners International Donor Organisations like the GIZ and Norwegian Refugee Council where the capacity of MSMEs were enhanced, access to funding improved and Access to Markets improved upon. The GIZ Start-Up Loop for MSMEs, GIZ Create, Start and Scale intervention currently going on as well as the Income Generating Activities training for Norwegian Refugee Council in six local government areas of Plateau State all implemented by the Agency are very successful.”
Wuyep appreciated the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong for providing an enabling environment for MSMEs to thrive in the State, approving an MSME Development Fund to address finance gaps as well as developing the Plateau State MSME Policy to strengthen the operations of MSMEs in the State.