Presidency’s planned palliative measures to MSMEs

Osinbajo

Yemi Osibanjo

The Vice President, Prof. Femi Osinbajo, has affirmed that MSMES will benefit from an intervention fund provided by the Federal Government, but with certain conditions.

He, on Thursday, noted that private schools, hotels, road transport workers and others would benefit from the stimulus package the Federal Government put in place for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises to cushion the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

While the National Association of Private Schools Proprietors however said it would recognize only schools under its umbrella, Osinbajo identified payroll and number of employees.

He said, “The survival fund will help provide payroll support to MSMEs with a minimum of 10 and maximum of 50 staff. The MSMEs that qualify for these will make available their payroll for verification by government.”

This is contained in a statement issued by the VP’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Laolu Akande.

The statement reads, “I am glad to note that this year has been an exception despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Locally, businesses are facing their most challenging time and the impact is particularly severe on MSMEs.

“The central plank 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.

“These products will be distributed to Nigerians, Nigerian institutions and entities that would require them.

“Companies that meet the requirements will then be eligible to have the salaries of their verified staff paid directly from the fund for a period of three months… the target beneficiaries of this scheme will include private schools, hotels, road transport workers, creative industries and others.”

This is another score on the report card of vice president Yemi Osinbajo. Let’s hope now that like other funds in the country, this isn’t misappropriated and mismanaged.

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