• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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President Tinubu launches ambitious fund to empower MSMEs nationwide

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu unveiled a comprehensive plan to stimulate economic growth and create a conducive business environment for entrepreneurs nationwide in his first live broadcast after his swearing-in speech. The President’s proposed interventions aim to alleviate the hardships citizens and businesses face while fostering sustainable development.

Executive Orders to Revitalize the Business Environment

President Tinubu began by highlighting his commitment to addressing unfavourable fiscal policies and the burden of multiple taxes that have hindered business growth in the country. To this end, he revealed that he had signed four Executive Orders. These Orders would suspend and defer the commencement of certain taxes, providing much-needed relief to businesses in the manufacturing sector. This strategic move will give companies the necessary space to thrive and expand their operations.

“Earlier this month, I signed four (4) Executive Orders in keeping with my electoral promise to address unfriendly fiscal policies and multiple taxes that are stifling the business environment.

These Executive Orders on suspension and deferred commencement of some taxes will provide the necessary buffers and headroom to businesses in the manufacturing sector to continue to thrive and expand,” he said.

Infusing Billions into the Manufacturing Sector

Recognizing the critical role played by the manufacturing sector in driving economic progress, the President announced a significant allocation of N75 billion between July 2023 and March 2024. This substantial investment aims to finance 75 promising enterprises and promote sustainable economic growth, structural transformation, and increased productivity. Each selected manufacturing enterprise will gain access to N1 billion credit at a reasonable interest rate of 9% per annum. Moreover, they will benefit from extended repayment periods of up to 60 months for long-term loans and 12 months for working capital.

Empowering the Informal Sector and SMEs

President Tinubu acknowledged the vital contribution of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and the informal sector to Nigeria’s economic vitality. The government has pledged an infusion of N125 billion to invigorate these sectors.

Of this amount, N50 billion will be allocated as Conditional Grants to one million nano businesses by March 2024. The initiative seeks to provide N50,000 each to 1,300 nano business owners in all 774 local governments nationwide. The President emphasized that this targeted support would enhance financial inclusion by integrating beneficiaries into the formal banking system.

Furthermore, the government will disburse an additional N75 billion to fund 100,000 MSMEs and start-ups. Under this scheme, each enterprise promoter will be eligible to receive between N500,000 to N1 million at a competitive interest rate of 9% per annum. The repayment period for these loans has been set at 36 months, allowing businesses ample time to invest and grow.

Impact and Road Ahead

President Tinubu’s visionary initiatives signal a bold step towards creating an enabling environment for businesses of all sizes to flourish. The government aims to spark significant economic growth, generate more job opportunities, and encourage entrepreneurial innovation nationwide by injecting billions into manufacturing and supporting SMEs and the informal sector.

As the allocated funds begin to disburse and businesses take advantage of the credit opportunities, the hope is that this ambitious plan will usher in a new era of prosperity and financial stability for Nigeria. The success of these interventions will largely depend on practical implementation and close collaboration between the federal government, states, and local governments to ensure the benefits reach all corners of the country.