By Gracious George
Young entrepreneurs in Bayelsa State hoping to increase the prospects of their businesses through the Diri Boost Entrepreneurship Programme have expressed concerns over the delay in given them funds earmarked for it.
The Diri Boost Initiative is a partnership deal between the state government and Skillporte Multinational with the aim of identifying and supporting entrepreneurs in the state to acquire knowledge and funds to drive their businesses.
It was a vision birthed in line with Governor Douye Diri’s Prosperity Agenda but six months after the registration formalities and training were conducted, funds are still being expected.
According to the template of the programme, selected candidates after the training, which comes with a certificate of participation, will have the opportunity to access funds required to invest and expand their businesses.
One of the successful participants told our correspondent that he is hopeful that funds will be disbursed, though it is more than six months that he completed the training.
He said: “After completing the training I was given a questionnaire to fill which I did, and my business plan was forwarded and since then, am yet to hear from them. It’s been over 6 months now”.
Another participant of the programme said: “When we finished the training which lasted for five days, certificates were issued to us and thereafter we were asked to submit account details which we did and since then we have been waiting.”
Further investigation uncovered that the delay in empowering the trainees may not be unconnected to some administrative issues and procedural bottlenecks caused by some officials of the state government.
We gathered that Governor of the state, Douye Diri had domiciled the programme in the hands of one of his top female aides who seems to be overwhelmed with the entire arrangement which has contributed to the setback.
It was also learnt that the partners of the programme, Skillporte Multinational may have pulled out following the way and manner the powerful female aide to the governor has been going about it.
Attempt to speak with officials of Skillporte Multinational was not successful while officials of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity said the programme was not under their purview and therefore could not comment on it.