The Nigerian Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday July 16, 2020, said that private schools, hotels, and road transport workers including others, are going to benefit from the stimulus package the present administration has put in place for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Vice President said the support scheme had been carefully accommodated in the government’s Economic Sustainability Plan which is a programme to address the economic impacts presented by the virus.
VP Osinbajo said the survival fund would help provide payroll support to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) who has a minimum of 10 and maximum of 50 staff members under them.
While giving further explanations, the Vice President said that MSMEs that qualifies for the fund, will make available their payroll for verification by the government.
Vice President Osinbajo in his statement clarified that ‘’The target beneficiaries of this scheme will include private schools, hotels, road transport workers, creative industries and others.
‘’The verification process will be very rigorous and painstaking .
‘’In addition, we have a N200bn fund which will be made available to MSMEs in the priority sectors such as healthcare, agro processing, creative industries, local oil and gas, aviation etc.
‘’This will be granted through a scheme jointly run the Bank of Industry and Nigerian Export Import Bank especially for export expansion.
‘’The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is also committed to creating a N100bn target credit facility for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises. Already, the recently signed Finance Act had made provision for graduated company income tax rates with zero rates for small companies and a rate reduction for medium sized companies.
It will be recalled that the Vice President had earlier in the month of May, announced the federal government’s determination of issuing a set of palliatives to helping MSMEs wade through the current economic fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While making the announcement in the month of May, Vice President Osinbajo, SAN, said that the palliatives reflected the Buhari administration’s determination to support MSMEs, noting then that the federal government places priority on small businesses. The palliatives the VP enumerated back in May, to revolve around;
1. E-Registration of MSMEs/productions at an 80% discounted rate over a period of six months
2. Zero tariffs for the first 200 micro and small businesses to register on the E-platform.
3. A waiver on administrative charges for overdue late renewal of expired licenses of micro/small business products for a period of 90 days.
The inclusion of private schools in this phase of the stimulus package, is a welcome development as it will help to cushion the effect of the global pandemic which has invariably led to abrupt stoppage of the monthly income of these private school administrators and operators alike.
Businesses had indeed been taken a hit due to COVID-19 which resulted to lockdown, and government ability to pump cash and other palliative measures to defer or relieve the MSMEs possibly of loan repayment and to get their businesses moving again, will only come as a welcome development.
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