As part of efforts to support small businesses in Nigeria to survive
the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government in line with its Economic Sustainability Plan is now set to implement a
number of schemes to keep MSMEs afloat, the Vice President
Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
The Vice President in a statement by his media aide, Laolu Akande
,stated this yesterday at the 2020 edition of the Micro Small and
Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Awards which held via video conference.
Prof. Osinbajo said, “I am glad to note that this year has been
an exception despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Locally, businesses are facing their most challenging time and the
impact is particularly severe on MSMEs
“The central plank of our response as a government to the economic
challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic has been the Economic
Sustainability Plan recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari
and the Federal Executive Council.
“In that plan which essentially envisages an overall N2.3 trillion
stimulus package, we made extensive provision for financial support to
MSMEs, ranging from a guaranteed off-take scheme to a survival fund
that includes a payroll support programme for qualifying businesses.
“The guaranteed off-take scheme seeks to provide support for MSMEs,
manufacturing local products by guaranteeing the purchase from them of
qualifying products such as face masks, hand sanitisers, PPE for
medical workers, etc.
“These products will be distributed to Nigerians,
institutions and entities that would require them.
“The survival fund will help provide payroll support to MSMEs with a
minimum of 10 and maximum of 50 staff. The MSMEs that qualify for
these will make available their payroll for verification by
“Companies that meet the requirements will then be eligible to have
the salaries of their verified staff paid directly from the fund for a
period of three months.”
Continuing on the MSMEs support scheme, Prof. Osinbajo said: “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 N200 billion 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 by the Bank of
Industry and Nigerian Export Import (NEXIM) Bank especially for export
“The CBN is also committed to creating a N100 billion target credit
facility for MSMEs. Already the recently signed Finance Act already
made provision for graduated company income tax rates with zero rates
for small companies and a rate reduction for medium sized companies.”