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FG To Release N65bn Stimulus Packages For MSMES, Manufacturers

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The federal government said a series of stimulus packages have been made available to assist operators in the private sector, saying that these include a N50 billion survival funds for MSME and a N15 billion Guaranteed Uptake Scheme to save 500,000 jobs.

The minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, revealed that under some of these interventions, 40 per cent of the funds would be reserved for women owned businesses.

He disclosed this during a meeting with the members of the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN), saying his ministry will support and work closely with the private sector as government works to reboot the economy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister gave this assurance at a virtual meeting held at the weekend attended by the president of NACCIMA, who is also the current president of the OPSN; Hajiya Saratu Aliyu; the president of MAN, Engr Ahmed Mansur; president of NECA, Mr Taiwo Adeniyi; and the president of NASME, Sir Orimadegun Agboade.

They also discussed and agreed that the implementation of project and programmes under the Economy Sustainability Plan which was recently approved by National Executive Council will be in close cooperation with members of the OPSN.

The OPSN is made up of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) and Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI).

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.

In her earlier statement, the president of OPSN, Hajiya Saratu Aliyu thanked the minister for the opportunity given to the private sector to present its positions and requests, and called for closer ties between the OPSN and the ministry especially as the country struggles to save and reboot the economy.

She said that present situation truly presents 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 desired impact.

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