The Federal Government as planned in the Economic Sustainability Plan is now set to implement a number of schemes to keep MSMEs afloat, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
“The central plan of our response as a government to the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic has been the Economic Sustainability Plan recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Executive Council.
“In that plan which essentially envisages an overall N2.3 trillion stimulus package, we made extensive provision for financial support to MSMEs, ranging from a guaranteed off-take scheme to a survival fund that includes a payroll support programme for qualifying businesses.
“The guaranteed off-take scheme seeks to provide support for MSMEs, manufacturing local products by guaranteeing the purchase from them of qualifying products such as face masks, hand sanitisers, PPE for medical workers, etc.
Osinbajo explained that the survival fund would help provide payroll support to MSMEs with a minimum of 10 and maximum of 50 staff, noting that the MSMEs that qualify for these would make available their payroll for verification by government.
Continuing on the MSMEs support scheme, Prof. Osinbajo said: “the target beneficiaries of this scheme will include private schools, hotels, road transport workers, creative industries and others.
“In addition we have a N200 billion fund which will be made available to MSMEs in the priority sectors such as healthcare, agro processing, creative industries, local oil and gas, aviation etc.
“This will be granted through a scheme jointly run by the Bank of Industry and Nigerian Export Import (NEXIM) Bank especially for export expansion.
“The CBN is also committed to creating a N100 billion target credit facility for MSMEs. Already the recently signed Finance Act already made provision for graduated company income tax rates with zero rates for small companies and a rate reduction for medium sized companies.”
“In 2021, Edo, Ekiti, Katsina, Ogun, Bauchi and Enugu States would commission shared facilities that will bring MSMEs together by cluster and provide shared equipment and resources and business support hub,” the Vice President added.
He commended the participants at the awards for their ingenuity in starting up and sustaining their businesses, urging those who were not shortlisted not to relent in what they are doing.
Adejoke Lasisi of Planet 3R Limited won the MSME of the Year Award while Kaduna State was awarded the Best MSME Clinic Support State. The winners got cash and car prizes.
The event was attended by several State Governors and their representatives, the FCT Minister Mallam Muhammed Bello, the Industry, Trade and Investment Minister of State Ambassador Mariam Katagum and various heads of MDAS and captains of industry.
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