BUSINESS AND FINANCE

FG pledges increased support for MSMEs, to create additional 1.3 million jobs

The Federal Government has pledged to increase its support for Micro Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country to fight unemployment and aid economic growth.

This is as an additional 1.3 million jobs is expected to be created across the country with the Bank of Industry committing N1.3 billion to support the MSME sector.

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This pledge was made by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, during a Capacity Building Training for MSMEs on Monday, March 22, 2021, in Abuja.

At the training which was organised by Quantum Mechanics Limited in collaboration with the ministry, Adebayo said the fund would support the growth of MSMEs and artisans, pointing out that his ministry would continue to do everything possible to see to the growth of MSMEs in the country.

A development consultant, Mr Michael Olugbemi, who spoke during the programme, focused on the importance of MSMEs to economic growth and job creation.

While delivering his paper titled, ‘MSMEs, Beyond Survival’, he said that the Federal Government’s support of such small businesses at the outbreak of Covid-19 underscored their importance to the economy.

Olugbemi said, “On the outbreak of the pandemic, the Federal Government set up a committee to work out economic stimulus package for the country. The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment was charged with developing a package for the MSMEs.

“MSMEs are the backbone of every economy, so, it makes sense if the government is worried if they are not well-positioned. They contribute about 48 per cent to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employing about 60 million people, accounting for 80 per cent of employment and 7.5 per cent of total exports.’’

He commended the Federal Government for its various support initiatives to ensure the survival of small businesses and urged the business owners to design strategies for growth and increased employment.

What you should know

  • The Federal Government and the CBN have initiated various schemes targeted at MSMEs who have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • These schemes include some intervention funds at special interest rates or cash grants as support to mitigate the effect of the pandemic.

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