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COVID-19: FG floats N75b stimulus schemes for SMEs



THE Federal Government yesterday floated two schemes to financially support about 1.7 million micro, small and medium enterprises        (MSMEs) across the country.

The package was worth N75 billion.

Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, stated this at a briefing on the flag-off of National MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus Schemes under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan, said the schemes would impact positively on businesses.

In her address at the briefing, Katagum said that in keeping to its promise to support businesses overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, federal government was set to commence nationwide implementation of the two MSME initiatives.

According to Katagum, a N60 billion MSME Survival Fund and the Payroll Support schemes would be rolled out first while N15 billion Guaranteed Off-take Scheme would then follow.

“Both schemes are at the core of the N2.3 trillion stimulus packages, 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,” she said.

The minister said a 10-man committee, which she chairs, was inaugurated in August with membership from the private and public sectors.

It will be recalled Economic Sustainability Plan was approved by Federal Executive Council on June 24, 2020 following its initiation by Economic Sustainability Committee that was established by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 30.

The committee, which is chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, 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.

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