James Cameron once said that: “Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee.” In this brief interview with an entrepreneur for ages and a quintessential manager Mr. Haggai Haruna Gutap the Director General of Plateau State Micro finance Development Agency we speak on the new established agency, its mandate and prospects Again the Director dismisses the report publish on https://nigeriastarline.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/plasmeda-under-fire-over-skills-acquisition-grad/.
Profile of Mr. Haggai Gutap
Mr. Gutap holds a Master of Science Degree in Development Economics from the University of Jos and is a Certified Micro Finance Practitioner of the Central Bank of Nigeria and a member of the Enterprise Development Experts Institute of Zambia. He has 11 years of experience in Pension Management and Enterprise Development, until his appointment, he was the Managing Director of Finger Tips Enterprise Development Partners based in Abuja
excerpts of interview with Dakwom longgul below
For the benefit of our reader, can you kindly give us an overview and mandate of Plateau state Micro Finance Development Agency?
Thank you for the opportunity, our mandate here is to create a platform were plateau citizens will have access to the right information that will enable them run their businesses. Over the years the state is labeled as a civil service state but here we believe in the potential inherent in plateau citizens beyond the bar of working in a civil service setting. We believe by this initiative of government, plateau will be transformed from a civil service state to an industrialized state but we cannot achieve that dream if the mindset of the citizens are not re-oriented. so base on this fact, the government saw the need to establish the agency as a platform that will set sail the process. Let me put it on record, that our operation is not just local because efforts have been made to draw resources from the federal government of Nigeria and other worldwide organization to ensure that we provide a world class service which is globally accepted and can open new doors for investment on the plateau. As a result of that, the agency was able to stage an S.M.E (small and medium enterprises) Training nationwide to which the vice president of Nigeria PROF Yemi osibanjo attested and give credence to the initiative as the best. It may also interest our reader to know that the program was held here in the Jos polo field, it was a platform to showcase the products of our S.M.E’s and because of the quality and uniqueness of the products some of the participants were invited to the Aso Rock Villa for further exhibitions.
As I speak to you, most of the S.M.E have gotten micro credit through our office and the bank of industry also appointed this agency as their agent for the disbursement of the micro small and medium enterprises funds that is why part of our mandate is to educate plateau citizens on how to access these funds, since it’s a micro credit loan people can get up to N50, 000 per person but the conditioned is that people must be in group.
Let me take this opportunity to dis-abuse the minds of our people in respect to the establishment of this agency because just like the saying “There is no free money in free Town” again “there is no free achievement without sacrifice”. These funds are to be used and paid back. Importantly, those we trained we give special entrepreneurial training which expose them to markets to sell their products and it is to this end, that we strongly believe that it is the window that will guarantee the economic prosperity of our dear state.
The Just concluded training which your organization partnered with the Plateau Youths Council was reported in some quarters to be dis satisfactory because the participants complained that after the training no starter packs or transportation was given to them, was there any arrangement to that effect?
Well am not aware of that. The government of plateau under the leadership of RT Hon Simon Bako Lalong have keen interest in youths empowerment which will be sustainable. That accounts for the reason why the government is working round the clock to see that the youths of plateau are liberated from poverty by creating platform that will train them in different skills, to reference my introductory statement let me use the biblical quotation which says “Many are called but few are chosen” the mandate of the partnership was clear because before the engagement, we gave orientation and specifically told them what to expect. We appointed various master trainers in various skills, we attached the trainees in areas of their various interest and all that attended got the right skills from the master trainer. The state government paid N5000 per Month for Three month I.e. N15, 000 for three months, government again paid master trainers for each of the participant in different component.
The training was in two components, one was a partnership with industrial training Funds (ITF) and the other was a partnership with the Plateau Youths Council (PYC). Our scope with PYC was 20 youths per local government that sums it to about 340 participants and I can assure you that all were given starter pack while the 500 hundred under the arrangement with ITF which in the initials of the agreement was only 200 but government pleaded to add 300 hundred extra. At the end of the training with ITF, having agreed with the PYC on time lines to graduate the participant and since government also sponsored the ITF participants we decided to hold a grand reception for all the participants given those that were trained under the ITF to attend the graduation. On the issue of their starter packs we already agreed with the participants under ITF that on a later date based on the arrangement with ITF their starter packs will be disbursed to them.
Nobody have been short-changed in terms of starter packs, all that graduated under partnership with the youth council have gotten theirs, we gave pastoralist separate training we also gave them starter packs, the other set are the APC youths Empowerment program in Lafia for North Central Nigeria. so I implore plateau people to disregard any malicious information against the December 2017 training.
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