The Nigerian government has said the Covid-19 N2.3 trillion stimulus package, forming part of its Economic Sustainability Plan, has among its ambitions a rescue plan for the nation’s Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Tola Adekunle-Johnson, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on MSMEs, made the disclosure at a live interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday.
Government has been ramping up efforts to provide buffers for economic segments that have taken the heaviest pounding from the coronavirus crisis, with one of its biggest interventions unveiled in the last week of June, a N2.3 trillion lifeline seeking to support Africa’s biggest economy from the disruptions and challenges triggered by the pandemic.
The MSME rescue aid aimed at lessening the impact of the coronavirus shocks on businesses within a three-month period, Adekunle-Johnson said, adding that the president, recognising the significance of MSMEs’ role in job creation and its status as a pivot of economic growth, proposed to avert job losses in the sector.
84 per cent of jobs in Nigeria are provided MSMEs, the Industry, Trade and Investment Ministry said.
The presidential aide stressed that many MSMEs had been striving to since the coronavirus lockdown was first imposed in March, resulting in several job losses and triggering low demand for goods and services.
The stimulus package, according to him, will provide payroll support scheme for MSMEs finding it hard to pay salaries.
Among the preconditions for accessing the payroll support fund is minimum of 10 employees and maximum of 50 on the applying MSME’s payroll. Accounts of eligible applicants will be directly credited for three months.
‘‘For example, for those MSMEs that are into the production of hand sanitisers and nose masks, the Federal Government will be the major off-taker for the products. By such patronage, the proceeds will help them to kick start their production again,” he said.
Hospitality businesses and schools will also be supported with the same three-month payment window extended to them.
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