Two fresh Covid-19 stimulus funds have been approved by the Federal Government aimed at assisting Nigerians cope with the challenges of Covid-19
The two schemes are worth about N75billion and are coming under the auspices of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan.
It is being channeled to financially support about 1.7 million micro, small and medium enterprises across the country, believed to be the easier way to reach ordinary Nigerians who themselves are involved in micro, small and medium enterprises, either as owners, suppliers, or direct customers.
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, superintended a meeting to flag-off the stimulus funds tagged the National MSME Survival Fund and the Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus Schemes under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan
N60bn MSME Survival Fund and the Payroll Support schemes would be rolled out first, while the N15bn Guaranteed Off-take Scheme would then follow, Katagun said, promising it would impact on small businesses and bring about direct impact on the economy.
Recall that the Economic Sustainability Plan was initiated by the Economic Sustainability Committee on March 30, and approved by the Federal Executive Council on June 24, 2020.
With Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as chairman, the committee comprises several ministers and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“Both schemes are at the core of the N2.3tn stimulus package, 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”, said Katagun, in her address at the briefing.
According to her, making available the stimulus funds is in fulfillment of the promise to help businesses cope with the challenges of the pandemic.
A 10-man committee, which she chairs, had earlier been inaugurated in August with membership from the private and public sectors including the Vice Chairperson, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, chairman of First Bank.
Katagum said the committee also had representatives of the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, adding that the team had developed a workable template for the execution of the programme.