Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, has disclosed that some stimulus packages are on the way for the organized private sector in the country. Some of these interventions include a N50billion survival fund for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and a N15 billion guaranteed uptake scheme to save 500,000 jobs. 40 per cent of the funds will be reserved for women-owned businesses. The stimulus packages are expected to provide some relief to the sector in the face of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister gave the assurance at a virtual meeting with the leaders of the Organised Private Sector (OPSN), comprising the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) and the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI).
The Director General of NACCIMA, Mr. Ayoola Olukanni, disclosed that in the meeting, which was attended by NACCIMA President, who is also the OPSN President, Mrs. Saratu Iya Aliyu; the President of MAN, Mr. Ahmed Mansur; the President of NECA, Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi and the President of NASME, Mr. Orimadegun Agboade, the minister affirmed that the private sector has an important role to play in the effort to restart the economy and assured the OPSN of his readiness, and that of his ministry, to work closely with the private sector in this regard.
The implementation of projects and programmes under the Economy Sustainability Plan, which was recently approved by the National Executive Council was also discussed at the meeting.
Mrs Iya Aliyu, who thanked the minister for the opportunity given to the private sector to present its positions and requests, called for closer ties between the sector and the Ministry, especially as the country struggles to save and reboot the economy.“The present situation truly presents an opportunity to diversify the economy and make it more self-reliant, and steps should be taken towards that goal”. She added.
Maritime Port reforms; appropriate gas pricing; special economic zones and industrial clusters, as well as stable and regular power supply were some of the other issues discussed at the meeting according to Olukanmi.
“The meeting agreed on a quarterly consultative meeting of the OPSN with the minister as part of strategies to work closely with the private sector for the implementation of appropriate policies across all sectors of the economy to ensure desired impact.” He disclosed.