Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, has assured members of the Organised Private Sector (OPSN) of stimulus packages which would be made available soon to assist operators in the sector in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ministry noted that under some of these interventions which include a N50billion survival funds for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and a N15 billion guaranteed uptake scheme to save 500,000 jobs, 40 per cent of the funds will be reserved for women-owned businesses.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, gave the assurance at a virtual meeting with thr OPSN leaders, comprising the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) and the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI).
A statement by the Director General of NACCIMA, Mr. Ayoola Olukanni, disclosed that in the meeting, which was attended by NACCIMA President, who is also the OPSN President, Mrs. Saratu Iya Aliyu; the President of MAN, Mr. Ahmed Mansur; the President of NECA, Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi and the President of NASME, Mr. Orimadegun Agboade, the minister affirmed that the private sector has an important role to play in the effort to restart the economy and assured the OPSN of his readiness, and that of his ministry, to work closely with the private sector in this regard.
The virtual meeting also discussed and agreed that the implementation of projects and programmes under the Economy Sustainability Plan, which was recently approved by the National Executive Council would be in close cooperation with members of the OPSN.
Mrs Iya Akiyu, who thanked the minister for the opportunity given to the private sector to present its positions and requests, called for closer ties between the sector and the Ministry, especially as the country struggles to save and reboot the economy.
She added that the present situation truly presents an opportunity to diversify the economy and make it more self-reliant, and steps should be taken towards that goal.
Olukanni said other issues discussed at the meeting were maritime port reforms; appropriate gas pricing; special economic zones and industrial clusters, as well as stable and regular power supply.
“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.”