Plateau State has again demonstrated its prowess as the home of innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria when another of its illustrious sons Mr. Mafeng Iliya Yohanna, CEO of Mafeng Woodcraft located at Gut, Rayfield Jos, won the award for Woodworks and Furniture Category at the 2020 National MSME Awards held virtually.

Mafeng beat contestants from all parts of the country to emerge winner following his submission to the selection board which assessed the quality of his furniture products and the use of locally sourced raw materials. He was awarded one million naira.

In his remarks at the awards, Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong said he was again honoured to have another entrepreneur and innovator who is putting the State on the national stage once again as far as small and medium enterprises development is concerned.

Lalong said “I am not surprised by the achievement of Mafeng Woodcraft which is following in the footsteps of previous winners starting from Mr. Jerry Mallo who was the overall winner of the maiden edition in 2018 with a tractor; as well as Mr. Luka Zaka Zang Bot who in 2019 won an award in the technology innovation category by producing a computer mouse for people living with disabilities. Ours is to continue to provide a conducive environment for our people to showcase their talents in order to create jobs and prosperity”.

He appreciated the hardwork of the Management and Staff of the Plateau State Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (PLAMEDA) for fishing out talents, training them and also facilitating the process of establishing their business.

He also thanked partners such as the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) for their support to innovators and entrepreneurs which has seen many ideas being transformed into jobs and employment opportunities.

Mr. Mafeng Yohanna while responding to the award said he was delighted to be chosen as the winner in the Woodworks and Furniture Category of the 2020 National MSME Awards.

He appreciated Governor Lalong for creating the right environment for the small businesses to thrive by not only ensuring that they are given the right training and incentives, but by also ensuring that there is peace in the State which has continued to make businesses to flourish.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo congratulated all the winners and nominees for their industry, creativity, ideas and innovation that have stimulated the creation of jobs and provision of employment.

He recognized the progress made by innovators and past winners such as Merry Mallo whose Company Bennie Agro has continued to grow and churn out various products after the maiden Awards in 2018.

He said the Federal Government is making available more funds worth billions that will be accessed by deserving MSMEs to enable them produce for domestic consumption and export.

Director General of the Industrial Training Fund Sir Joseph Ari and DG PLASMEDA who participated in the virtual awards assured that their organisations will continue to offer opportunities to those who want to break away from the shackles of poverty by suing their skills for productivity.

Mafeng woodcraft started in 2005, and is into the production of all kinds of woodworks and furniture for interior and exterior purposes such as Home chairs, Room Beds, kitchen cabinets, office table and chairs, school furniture among others.

Dr. Makut Simon Macham, ANIPR
Director of Press & Press Affairs to
the Governor of Plateau State
16th July 2020.