Amb. Mariam Katagum, Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment

Nigeria to support 1.7 m individuals, businesses to boost opportunities: Minister

*Federal Government plans to provide financial support for 1.7 million businesses and individuals across the country next three months, says Amb. Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for ITI

*Programmes include N75 billion MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

In its commitment to lessening the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy by saving existing jobs and creating new job opportunities, the Federal Government says it will provide financial support for 1.7 million business entities and individuals across Nigeria in the next three months.

Amb. Mariam Katagum, Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment (ITI), stated this during the virtual commissioning of the Fashion Cluster Shared Facility for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), tagged: “Eko Fashion Hub” in Lagos.

The Minister said that the initiative is borne out of government’s unrelenting commitment to help in cushioning the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic on the economy, and saving existing jobs and creating new job opportunities for Nigerians.

Katagum disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, through the Economic Sustainability Committee, had announced specific programmes aimed at cushioning the impact of COVID-19 on MSME businesses.

She stated: “The Federal Government is fully committed to empowering Nigerians; more so in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“In this regard, the government, through the Economic Sustainability Committee had announced specific programmes aimed at cushioning the impact of COVID-19 on MSME businesses.

“These programmes include among others, the N75 billion MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes of which I have the honour to chair the Steering Committee for the effective implementation of the projects.

She further said that “the project, which will run for an initial period of three months, is targeting 1.7million entities and individuals and has provisions for 45 percent female-owned businesses and five percent for those with special needs.

“The registration portal for the schemes is set to open on Monday 21st September, 2020 and I urge you all to take full advantage of the schemes.”

Both schemes were at the core of the N2.3 trillion stimulus package also known as the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) being implemented by the Federal Government, the Minister stated.

Amb. Katagum added that the commissioning of shared facilities was also expected to provide succour and relief for the teeming micro businesses in need of space and infrastructural support.

Katagum also expressed appreciation to Vice-President (Prof.) Yemi Osinbajo for providing a pragmatic and purposeful leadership in establishing a conducive environment that would seamlessly allow MSMEs to grow and prosper.

The Minister also congratulated MSMEs across the country and urged the ones in Lagos State to take full advantage of the shared facility as well as the MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes to improve their businesses.

“This event is a testimony to the continued commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria to provide a conducive environment for operators in the MSME space.

“The establishment of Shared Common Facilities, is one of the key take-away from the organisation of MSME Clinics across the country,” said she.

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