Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has explained that the Federal Government is investing in the small businesses sector to sustain the national economy.
He said the Federal Government remains deeply committed to creating a more business-friendly environment for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to thrive, as they are the engine room of the Nigerian economy.
Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Friday at the virtual commissioning of the Fashion Cluster Shared Facility for MSMEs, the Eko Fashion Hub 1, in Lagos State.
He explained the Economic Sustainability Plan has in it a Survival Fund, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of the implementation of the MSMEs Survival Fund as part of the ESP was to cushion the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. This, he noted, not only highlights the commitment of the administration to supporting MSMEs, but also the importance of MSMEs to the nation’s economy.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande Osinbajo said “Under the survival fund is a Payroll Support Scheme, which will provide up to N50, 000 in monthly salaries for up to ten (10) staff of a qualifying business, for a period of three months. There is also an N50,000 grant for 100,000 small and medium-scale businesses, while 333,000 self-employed persons working as artisans and transporters will benefit from a one-off grant of N30,000. The President has also approved that the Federal Government bear the full cost of business name registration for 250,000 new businesses nationwide.”
“We are doing all these to support MSMEs across the country to maintain their staffing levels and keep their businesses afloat through these very challenging times”, he added.
The Vice President said the Buhari administration’s commitment to the success of small businesses is evident in its MSMEs Clinics initiative, which extends business support services to small businesses across the country, of which the MSMEs Shared Facility Scheme is a core component.
The Eko facility, which was developed through a collaboration between the Federal Government, the Lagos State Government, and the Organized Private Sector, is an end-to-end fashion production centre equipped with needed machinery and will be made available to the public under a shared facility style structure.
Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was physically present at the event in Ikeja, commended the Federal Government for supporting the scheme. He stated that there would be plans to replicate the same in other parts of the state.
Virtually present at the commissioning was the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum; CEO and Group Managing Director, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe; and the Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs, in the Office of the Vice President, Tola Johnson.
Others include the CEO, Bank of Industry (BOI), Mr. Olukayode Pitan; Director-General/CEO, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda; Registrar General/CEO, Corporate Affairs Commission, Alhaji Garba Abubakar; Managing Director, NEXIM Bank, Abba Bello, among others.
Other government officials on ground at the commissioning include the State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr. Lola Akande, among others.