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COVID-19: Industry Ministry pledges N65bn stimulus package for firms  

As part of efforts to revive the economy and encourage the Organised Private Sector (OPSN), Adeniyi Adebayo, minister, Industry, Trade and Investment, has announced the provision of N65 billion stimulus package for members of the organized private sector.

Adebayo disclosed this at a virtual meeting held recently between him and members of the OPSN, made up of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) and Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI).

He announced that a series of stimulus packages would be made available soon to assist operators in the private sector.  These, according to him, included N50billion Survival Funds for MSME and N15billion Guaranteed Uptake Scheme to save 500,000 jobs.

He further said that under some of the interventions, 40 percent of the funds would be reserved for women-owned businesses.

He said that the private sector had an important role to play in rejuvenating the economy and assured them of the ministry’s support.

He pledged that the ministry would support and work closely with the private sector as the government worked to reboot the economy in the face of the COVID- 19 pandemic

Beyond the announcement of the stimulus package, he tapped the implementation of projects and programmes under the Economy Sustainability Plan(ESP),  recently approved by National Executive Council (NEC), as some of the programmes targeted at revivifying the economy.

Saratu Iya Aliyu, OPSN president, in her address, thanked the minister and also called for closer ties between the OPSN and the ministry, especially as the country struggles to save and reboot the economy after the pandemic.

Aliyu, who is also NACCIMA president, added that the present situation offered an opportunity to diversify the economy and make it more self-reliant, stressing that  steps must be taken towards that goal.

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.

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