Dec 05, 2015 News
With the aim of boosting and promoting entrepreneurship, economic development and self-sustainability in the Moruca Sub-District of Region One, the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs (MIPA), will be relaunching the Moruca Credit and Development Trust (MCDT).
This was revealed in an outreach conducted on Wednesday last at Santa
Rosa, Moruca, where a team led by Indigenous People’s Affairs Minister, Vice President Sydney Allicock, met and interacted with residents.
The team included Minister within the Ministry, Valerie Garrido-Lowe; Minister within the Communities Ministry, Dawn Hastings-Williams; Advisor on Indigenous People’s Affairs, Mervyn Williams; Legal Advisor, David James; and MIPA’s Programme Coordinator, Jude Da Silva.
The team met with several stakeholders and residents to discuss the revival of the MCDT. After receiving a positive feedback, the team announced that the MCDT will be revived but with a few tweaks. The Trust is expected to come on stream early next year.
Based on information from residents, and later confirmed by the newly elected Santa Rosa Toshao, Sherwin Abrams, the Moruca Credit and Development Trust is a non-partisan organisation, engaged in the development and promotion of residents in the Moruca Sub-Region.
It is operated by a Board of Trustees. It was launched in 2005 with $23M start-up. It later began its lending process in April 2006.
Although the circumstances surrounding its demobilisation two years ago remains shady, it was reported that there was a “large number” of defaulters, some 88 out of 292, tallying` $4M outstanding. The project was put on pause with $18M still in the organisation’s holdings. This information was also confirmed by the Toshao.
Allicock recommended that the Board be dissolved, reconstructed and transparent in its operations. Allicock further stated that the revival would be an opportunity for persons who desire to open small businesses, and for individuals who are looking to expand their businesses to serve a wider market.
While pointing out that it is important to be self-sufficient, Allicock also called on aspiring entrepreneurs to be more innovative and strategic in their business approach.
“We can’t have 10 businesses doing the same thing, be original. Innovate, explore new areas and create a name for yourselves. Carry your own brand. If you have an idea, seek advice from experts before getting into it, and relay that knowledge to others as well,” Allicock said.
Giving that the current population of Moruca is somewhere between the 8,000 and 10,000 mark, Garrido-Lowe expressed her concern that $23M would not be sufficient. Therefore, she advised that an analysis be done to determine the amount of money to be given to the MCDT, which she pointed out, would be examined thoroughly.
Santa Rosa Toshao, Sherwin Abrams told the officials that the revival would be a major boost for his village. And since jobs are hard to come by he said, residents tend to take the road to self-employment, however, the MCDT will better enable them to do so.
He continued that because of the on-going training programmes being offered by several entities such as the Board of Industrial Training (BIT), there is a wealth of knowledge and newly found skill with no possible way of exerting it, but with the Trust, graduates can transform their newly learnt abilities into their own businesses.
Also present at the meeting was the Regional Chairman (RC) Brentnol Ashley who endorsed the Toshao’s statement. He said that revival would be “a plus to economic growth and self-sustainability”.
He also seconded the notion to have the Board of Trustees dissolved, to establish a new one and to wipe the slate clean. In his closing remarks, he said that he is committed and ready to lend support in making the revival a success.
Regional Executive Officer (REO), Leslie Wilburg, also had his say in the meeting. He told the Ministers that since it is difficult to acquire financial support due to the lack of banks and other money lending bodies, the Trust would be a “major” step forward.
Wilburg said that persons who would be charged with the responsibility of carrying out the MCDT’s activities, should understand their responsibilities thoroughly and be willing to be held accountable if the need arises. (Suraj Narine)
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