Tag Archives: MSMEs

VP, Yemi Osinbajo list support schemes for MSMEs

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the Federal Government, through the National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), is set to implement a number of schemes to keep Micro Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) afloat.

The vice president listed Survival Fund including payroll support for three months, guaranteed off-take scheme among others as part of efforts to support small businesses in Nigeria to survive the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said the vice president spoke at the 2020 edition of the Micro MSMEs Awards which held via video conference.

He said that locally, businesses were facing their most challenging time and the impact was 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.

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“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 sanitizer, Personal Protective Equipment(PPE) for medical workers among others

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

“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 the government.

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“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.”

According to the vice president, the target beneficiaries of this scheme will include private schools, hotels, road transport workers, creative industries and others.

He said that the verification process would be very rigorous and painstaking.

Osinbajo added that N200 billion would be made available to MSMEs in the priority sectors such as healthcare, agro-processing, creative industries, local oil and gas, aviation among others.

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“This will be granted through a scheme jointly run by the Bank of Industry and Nigerian Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank, especially for export expansion.

“The CBN is also committed to creating a N100 billion target credit facility for MSMEs.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo PHOTO:Twitter

“Already the recently signed Finance Act already made provision for graduated company income tax rates with zero rates for small companies and a rate reduction for medium-sized companies.”

The vice president said that the Federal Government would continue to implement similar focused MSME interventions around the country.

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Osinbajo said that Kaduna state, for example, was working on a tomato paste production plant while Lagos was putting together a fashion hub.

He said that FCT was equally set to launch a carpentry cluster while Anambra state was almost ready to commission its leather works cluster.

All of these are scheduled for 2020.

“In 2021, Edo, Ekiti, Katsina, Ogun, Bauchi and Enugu States would commission shared facilities that will bring MSMEs together by cluster and provide shared equipment and resources and business support hub.’’

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He commended the participants at the awards for their ingenuity in starting up and sustaining their businesses, urging those who were not shortlisted not to relent in what they were doing.

Osinbajo also commended all those who had started businesses in Nigeria, no matter how small, describing them as champions.

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“Every person who has taken it upon themselves to start a business in Nigeria no matter how small is a champion and we as a government owe it to you to create an enabling environment for you to thrive.

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“This is President Buhari’s commitment to MSMEs in Nigeria, that we will continue to stand by you and to support you and to create opportunities for you to grow and prosper,” he said.

Adejoke Lasisi of Planet 3R Limited won the MSME of the Year Award while Kaduna State was awarded the Best MSME Clinic Support State.

The winners got cash and car prizes.

The event was attended by several state governors and their representatives, the FCT Minister Malam Muhammed Bello, the Minister of State, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum, various heads of MDAS and captains of industry.


#Newsworthy…

MAN warns, says cashless policy will affect employment, MSMEs negatively.

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has expressed concerns over the planned implementation of the cashless policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The association stated that the new policy expected to kick off in 2020, will affect micro, small, and medium enterprises who are clearly the engine room for growth of the economy and employment generation.

The apex bank, in a circular, directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to charge on deposits, in addition to already existing charges on withdrawals, 3 percent processing fees for individual accounts, withdrawals in excess of N500,000.00 and 5 percent for Corporate accounts withdrawal in excess of N3 million.

It also introduced processing fees for cash lodgments of 2 percent above N500,000.00 for individual accounts and 3 percent for lodgment above N3 million for Corporate accounts.

In a signed statement by the Director-General of MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, other options should be adopted to the approach to the policy.

“Even though one may agree with the CBN Governor that it is in the public interest to promote an efficient payment system via the cashless policy, there is need to examine the route you choose to achieve that objective, and I think this is the crux of the matter and appears to be a recurring decimal in the administration of our monetary policy interventions.”

He stressed that the policy was not presented to stakeholders for proper consultation, faulting the apex bank of insisting that the adoption is the only way to achieve the much-desired cashless economy.

Mr. Ajayi-Kadir advised that the CBN should adopt other viable options to achieve the much needed cashless economy.

“Apart from the fact that the policy at inception, was put in place without consultations, sensitization, explanation or rationale for its introduction; the policy was presented as the ONLY way to achieve the much-desired cashless or less-cash economy.

“The explanation given later was more of empathizing with the banking public for the “inevitable hardship” the latest cashless policy would impose on them. It would also appear that the applicable percentages did not take cognizance of the existing and long-standing charges on withdrawals.

“There is clearly more than one road to the market. In this instance, the CBN has at least two options to achieve the latest progression towards the desired cashless economy; to penalize non-compliance or to incentivize compliance. It would appear that the CBN has chosen the former. What I mean is that rather than introduce gains for those who embrace cashless transactions, it has elected to punish those who have not, including those operating in genuinely large cash-driven economic activities.”

He urged the leadership of the CBN to think through other available options to achieve its cashless policy.

“There is also a huge concern over the inadequacy of the needed cashless economy infrastructure, which the Money Deposit Banks are not doing enough to upscale or do so at a disproportionate additional cost to the users.

“MAN, therefore, urges the leadership of the CBN to think through other available options to achieve its cashless policy scheduled to be fully implemented throughout the country from March 31, 2020, while paying close attention to the use of the carrot rather than the stick approach,” he stated.

#Newsworthy…