N50b survival fund coming for MSMEs, says Minister

The Federal Government has announced that as part of efforts to reboot the economy, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, a series of stimulus packages will soon be made available to assist operators in the private sector.

These include a N50 billion survival fund for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and a N15 billion Guaranteed Uptake Scheme to save 500, 000 jobs. Under some of these interventions, 40 per cent of the funds will be reserved for women-owned businesses.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, who made this known at a virtual meeting attended by members of the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN), assured that his ministry would support and work with the private sector to reboot the economy ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virtual meeting was attended by the President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA)/President of the OPSN, Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu; and the President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Ahmed Mansur.

Other attendees were the President of Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi; and the President of Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Sir Orimadegun Agboade.

Adebayo affirmed that the private sector has an important role to play in the bid to restart the economy and assured the OPSN of his readiness, and that of his ministry, to work closely with the private sector in this regard.

The virtual meeting also discussed and agreed that the implementation of projects and programmes under the Economy Sustainability Plan, which was recently approved by the National Executive Council, would be in close cooperation with members of the OPSN.

Hajiya Aliyu thanked the minister for the opportunity given to the private sector to present its positions and requests. She called for closer ties between the OPSN and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, especially as the country struggles to save and reboot the economy.

She said the present situation truly presented an opportunity to diversify the economy and make it more self-reliant, and steps must be taken towards that goal.

Other issues discussed at the meeting were Maritime Port Reforms; Appropriate Gas pricing; Special Economic Zones and Industrial Clusters, as well as stable and regular power supply.

The meeting agreed on a quarterly consultative meeting of the OPSN with the minister as part of strategies to work closely with the private sector for the implementation of appropriate policies across all sectors of the economy to ensure the desired impact.

<<The Nation>>