- Over 100,000 small businesses in the country are about to breathe a new lease of life in Nigeria
- The federal government has flagged off two schemes to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on small businesses
- The authorities say over 1.7 million Nigerians will be positively impacted by the schemes
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The federal government on Thursday, September 10 flagged-off two schemes to cushion the effects of COVID-19 and save over 100,000 small businesses in the country.
Minister of state, industry, trade and investment Ambassador Mariam Katagum, flagged-off the schemes after briefing journalists in Abuja.
According to her, over 1.7 million Nigerians will be positively impacted by the schemes.
Legit.ng gathered that the two schemes: National Survival Fund and the Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus Schemes are under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) of the Buhari administration.
According to the minister, part of the terms of reference of the NESP included the support of small businesses and the creation of jobs, hence the flag-off of the schemes.
Her words: “The Survival Fund Scheme is expected to commence immediately while the GOS will follow as soon as the modalities are put in place properly to meet current realities.
“The survival fund is a conditional grant to support vulnerable Micro and Small enterprises in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in MSMEs from the shock of the COVID 19 pandemic.
“The scheme is estimated to save at least not less than 1.3 million jobs across the country while targeting an average of 35,000 individuals per state.”
She explained that there were two categories of beneficiaries: employees of small businesses and self-employed individuals.
She said the pre-requisites for qualification include that the employees’ company be registered, the employee must have a BVN, the company must have a staff strength of not less than 3 and must be owned by a Nigerian.
For the Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus Scheme, she explained that the impact of the lockdown occasioned by COVID-19 has led to a fall in Nigerian corporate and household demands, forcing consumers to spend primarily on essential goods and services.
“We will leverage on the databases of micro and small enterprises in identifying those businesses that will qualify under the program and will save about 400,000 jobs.
“Let me reiterate that the scheme will give preference to products produced in reasonably sufficient volumes in each state which have proven propensity to create jobs and have a multiplier effect on the surrounding economy.
“It is to be noted that the two schemes are expected to be implemented over an initial period of 3 months in order to provide immediate relief from the economic impact of the pandemic,” she said.
Recall that the federal government had on Monday, September 7, announced plans to launch the schemes.
This was disclosed in President Muhammadu Buhari's opening speech delivered by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the first year ministerial performance review retreat, at the State House.
Legit.ng had earlier reported that although Nigeria's Gross Domestic Production (GDP) dropped by 6.10% in the second quarter of 2020, the country outperformed most developed market economies.
A global chief economist; Charlie Robertson, pointed out that the Nigerian economy outperformed most developed market economies in the second quarter of 2020.
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