Group holds summit on post COVID-19 recovery, MSMEs growth, job creation

...As Ngige alerts Nigeria of dangers of unemployment, ignorance

Partnership Economy Nigeria, a framework guided by the principles of Public Social Private Partnership (PSPP) designed, developed and promoted as a multi-layered collaborative socio-economic platform for the government, the business sector, and the civil society is to provide the leeway for post-COVID-19 economic recovery and growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The initiative aims at aligning the socio-economic development agenda of the national and sub-national tiers of government and their subsequent support to Local Governments as prescribed in the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) Guidelines on what the United Cities and Local Governments.

Speaking at the Inaugural Partnership Economic Summit 2021 organised by the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs in collaboration with Myk Psymmons Solutions Limited, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) amongst others, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said Partnership Economy Nigeria is a timely and well-needed intervention.

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Osinbajo said strategic partnership between the three tiers of government, the private sector and civil society is critical to post-covid recovery and building a strong resilient economy.

The Vice President who was represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo said MSMEs are the backbone of Nigeria’s economy and will support their sustainable growth, stressing that young entrepreneurs and small business owners are the future of our country, hence the Federal Government is committed to supporting them.

He said the Federal Government is committed to providing practical support to smaller companies at this critical time and that is why it has concluded the landmark $1 billion USD syndicated term loan through the Bank of Industry (BOI), towards this end.

“The intervention provides affordable loans of medium to long-term tenor, alongside moratorium benefit to MSMEs. This goes a long way to support the business community, but more help is needed and that is why I say that this intervention is timely.

“In today’s Nigeria, it is imperative to build a seamless partnership between our citizens and all arms of government. The Federal Government has developed many remarkable policies but what is key is ensuring that they positively influence the lives of people at the grassroots.

“Partnership Economy Nigeria seeks to ensure that entrepreneurs in each ward have access to these types of facilities by designating Council Wards as Presidential Economic Development Districts. These Presidential Economic Development Districts will implement a Lease Operate Pay and Own Scheme (LOPOS) based on the same guidelines as the leasing system, in addition to funding the industrial parks and clusters.

“A cooperative alliance between the Federal, State and Local Governments that empowers the Presidential Economic Development Districts will certainly be a step towards ensuring MSMEs get the much needed support they deserve”, the Vice President added.

On his part, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, George Akume said the summit with the theme: ‘Translating Sustainable Development Goals to Local Businesses in Nigeria’, seeks to garner the fundamentals of Goals 1, 8, 9 and 17 of the SDGs to build the solid sustainable framework of Partnership Economy Nigeria.

According to Akume, Partnership Economy Nigeria is a bold attempt to mobilise multi-stakeholders on a platform that generates synergy to promote wealth creation, diversification of the country’s economy and generation of several million jobs in the economy.

“The platform is designed to harmonize the efforts of the three tiers of government towards supporting and facilitating the community-based Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSME) to start and grow value-addition businesses across all sectors at the council ward level in the bid to build our economy from the bottom to up,” he said.

In his goodwill message, Minister of Labour and Employee, Chris Ngige said Nigeria was in trouble due to the high rate of unemployment and ignorance which he described as a vicious cycle which the country must break.

“We need to start to save ourselves, our children and our country. How do we do that? We have to start making sure on how we can break central point of this vicious cycle. Breaking it means we are going to start from the root. If we keep on with these symptoms; buy ammunition, bomb these people, bomb kidnappers, bomb Boko Haram, you will be wasting resources. If you had prevented it it would cost you less.

“We must give education to these people at the grassroots. For those who can’t get education, we must provide them jobs so that they can fend for themselves. They can put roofs over their heads. So that they can eat food daily and their health will be guaranteed. If we do this we will kill the other things. Because the circle is ignorance, not having education, diseases, and poverty”, he exclaimed.

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