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COVID 19:FG unveils intervention for SMEs, eyes 5 million jobs

****reveals plan to save 1.4 million jobs ***Lists MSMES survival fund, credit support and off take stimulus fund in intervention

Federal government on Thursday said it is currently targeting five million jobs for Small and Medium Enterprises through its Post- COVID 19 Economic recovery plan.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Richard Adeniyi Adebayo,who gave the information also revealed that plans are underway to save about 1.4 million jobs of Nigerians, with 40 percent of them in female-owned MSMEs and 10 percent in businesses belonging to people with special needs.

The Minister who disclosed this in a statement issued by Julius Toba-Jegede his special assistant on media noted that the move is part of his ministry’s input in playing a leading role in the Federal Government’s delivery of Real Sector interventions of its Economic Sustainability Plan in the wake of the global pandemic.

To achieve these, Adebayo gave an overview of three programmes as: The MSME Survival Fund, The Guaranteed Offtake Stimulus Scheme and the Credit Support to MSMEs and Priority Sector.

“These interventions will save and create about five million jobs, support continued operations and increase in production capacity in priority sectors and protect MSMEs from the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

””We expect that the Survival Fund will save 1.4 million jobs across the country with 40% of them in the female-owned MSMEs and 10 % in businesses owned by persons with special needs.

”The Guaranteed Offtatake Stimulus Scheme’s objective is to protect jobs, stimulate economic activities across the country and protect the income of vulnerable MSMEs by guaranteeing offtake of items produced by these businesses. The scheme will save an additional 300,000 jobs in MSMEs nationwide.

“The Credit Support to MSMEs and Priority Sector will provide affordable finance to key sectors impacted by the pandemic and enable increase in manufacturing capacity in priority sectors. This scheme will save and create an additional three million jobs and will be implemented through N50 billion MSME de-risking facility, N100 billion intervention fund for priority sectors.

” These sectors include healthcare, agro-processing, creative industry, local oil and gas and exports.

“‘ ‘There will also be N150 billion Capitalization Fund and a N50 billion Export Expansion Facility,” he said.

The Minister added that the programmes had been designed with a robust governance structure and a monitoring and evaluation framework to ensure their successful implementation.

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