The Federal Government on Thursday flagged off two schemes with N75 billion funding package to support about 1.7 million micro, small and medium enterprises in the country.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum, at a media briefing briefing on the National MSME Survival Fund and the Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus Schemes under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan, said the schemes would impact positively on the targeted businesses.
Katagum explained the schemes were introduced in furtherance of government’s promise to support businesses overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the minister, the N60bn MSME Survival Fund and the Payroll Support schemes would be rolled out first after which the N15bn Guaranteed Off-take Scheme would be flagged off.
She explained: “Both schemes are at the core of the N2.3tn stimulus package, also known as the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan being implemented to help cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is with a view to boosting the economy by saving existing jobs and creating new job opportunities”, the minister added.
The minister recalled that a 10-man committee, which she chairs, was inaugurated in August with membership from the private and public sectors, including the Vice Chairperson, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, and representatives of the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises ,to develop a workable template for the implementation of the schemes
It would be recalled that the Economic Sustainability Plan was approved by the Federal Executive Council on June 24, 2020 following its presentation by the Economic Sustainability Committee earlier constituted by President Buhari on March 30 this year.
The committee, which is chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, comprises several ministers and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyair, as well as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.