By Sarah NEGEDU
The Federal Capital Territory Administration is looking to formalise the activities of scrap dealers in the nation’s capital, as it plans to establish a world class pantaker enterprise hub to affectively engage the informal sector of the economy.
When established, the hub is expected to provide shared facilities for operators at the scrap market so as to properly coordinate their operations and also sanitise the environment by removing them off the road corridors.
The Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Abuja Enterprise Agency, Chudi Ezirigwe, who disclosed this at an end of year media briefing in Abuja, said with the arrangement, operators would be able to assess business development services, government interventions, among other services to help improve their businesses.
He said, residents of the FCT who are informally engaged in the use of waste like wood, aluminum, iron, and other metals will constitute the hub.
“For us, the idea of having the pantaker is to create a formal location where you can have shared facility. The intention has to do with providing shared facility for this category of entrepreneurs in the different areas ranging from metal fabricators, to people in carpentry, to people in use of polyethylene to form usable items and many more.
“So that is the idea of the concept behind the pantaker which is to formalize them, get them registered, get them to understand that there are interventions by government that they can assess.
“We believe that if we formalize them in that kind of shared facilities environment that will call “the pantaker”, it will position them to also assess the agencies’ business development services, because what we do now ordinarily is that when we go for outreach programs, we will just invite them probably under a shade under a tree and we talk to them, but if we have that kind of pantaker structure, a hub, I think it will make our job easier and then also make the businesses more sustainable and profitable.”
He said the plan has reached an advanced stage as the concept document has been sent to the minister and awaiting ministerial directive.
“We are an agency of government, hence we follow the directive principles as directed. So when we get the endorsement of the Honourable Minister of the FCT, I believe that we have a minister that is performing, so I am hoping and looking forward as we follow up that we will get positive endorsement of that program by the Honourable Minister of the FCT.”
On some of the achievements recorded by the agency so far, the Managing Director said the agency has created over 13,670 jobs funded 4,761 businesses and created 3,868 enterprises since 2019 to date.
Ugwuada-Ezirigwe added that the AEA had also promoted 9,557 enterpreneurship, grow 7,327 enterprises and build the capacity of 1,962 enterprenurs during the period.
According to him, the Agency had designed different programmes, services and activities that are targeted towards the achievement of set mandate of the FCT administration.
“During the period under review, the Agency created 13,670 jobs, financed 4,761 businesses, created 3,868 enterprises.
“We have also gone ahead as part of our engagement and activities promoted enterpreneurship to 9,557. The Agency grow 7,327 enterprises and build the capacity of 1,962 enterpreneurs. We have conducted a number of outreach programmes, provide businesses and services to over three thousand enterprenurs.
“For us as an Agency of FCT Administration, our services are targeted at rural people across the Six Area Councils of the Federal Capital Territory.