The Federal Government on Thursday flagged off two schemes to financially support about 1.7 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the Nigeria with 75 billion Naira.
Speaking at the briefing on the flag-off of the National MSME Survival Fund and the Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus Schemes under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, said the schemes would impact positively on businesses.
The Economic Sustainability Plan was approved by the Federal Executive Council on June 24, 2020 following its initiation by the Economic Sustainability Committee that was established by the President Muhammadu Buhari on March 30.
Chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the committee, comprises several ministers and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation as well as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Katagum, in her address at the briefing, stated that the Federal Government, in keeping to its promise to support businesses overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, was set to commence nationwide implementation of the two MSME initiatives.
Katagum said the N60bn MSME Survival Fund and the Payroll Support schemes would be rolled out first, adding that the N15bn Guaranteed Off-take Scheme would then follow.
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 said 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, chairman of First Bank.
Katagum said the committee also had representatives of the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, adding that the team had developed a workable template for the execution of the programme.
She said, “The survival fund scheme is expected to commence immediately while the Guaranteed Off-take Scheme will follow as soon as the proper modalities are put in place to meet current realities.
“The two schemes are targeted to impact about 1.7 million entities and individual beneficiaries across the country.”