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Economy struggles if MSMEs fail to succeed, says Osinbajo

[MSMEs] thrive the economy thrives; they struggle, the economy struggles

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the economy of any country struggles if Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) struggle to survive.

The Vice President said this on Friday at the virtual commissioning of the Fashion Cluster Shared Facility for MSMEs, the Eko Fashion Hub 1, in Lagos State.

The Eko facility meant to serve 136,800 MSMEs annually was developed through a collaboration between the Federal Government, the Lagos State Government, and the Organized Private Sector and it’s an end-to-end fashion production centre equipped with needed machinery to be made available to the public under a shared facility style structure.

Osinbajo, while speaking at the occasion, said: “When they [MSMEs] thrive the economy thrives, when they struggle, the economy struggles.”

He said the Federal Government therefore remained deeply committed to creating a more business friendly environment for MSMEs to thrive as they are the engine room of the Nigerian economy.

The Vice President, who explained that the Economic Sustainability Plan has in it a Survival Fund, added that President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of the implementation of the MSMEs Survival Fund as part of the ESP was to cushion the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

This, he noted, not only highlights the commitment of the administration to supporting MSMEs, but also the importance of MSMEs to the nation’s economy.

He said, “Under the Survival Fund is a Payroll Support Scheme, which will provide up to N50,000 in monthly salaries for up to ten (10) staff of a qualifying business, for a period of three months.

“There is also a N50,000 grant for 100,000 small and medium-scale businesses, while 333,000 self-employed persons working as artisans and transporters will benefit from a one-off grant of N30,000.

“The President has also approved that the Federal Government bear the full cost of business name registration for 250,000 new businesses nationwide.

“We are doing all these to support MSMEs across the country to maintain their staffing levels and keep their businesses afloat through these very challenging times.”

The Vice President said the Buhari administration’s commitment to the success of small businesses is evident in its MSMEs Clinics initiative, which extends business support services to small businesses across the country, of which the MSMEs Shared Facility Scheme is a core component.

He added that the MSMEs’ Shared Facility Scheme being implemented by the Buhari Administration under the National MSMEs Clinics “seeks to provide high-quality operating equipment which small businesses can access at a reasonable cost, within a conducive space.”

It would be recalled that in June this year, the Vice President had virtually commissioned and handed over the 200,000-capacity Yam Storage Facility at the Zaki Biam International Yam Market in Benue State.

Osinbajo, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, stated that there are also plans to establish more Shared Facilities in other parts of the country, including in Kaduna, Anambra and the FCT.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was physically present at the event in Ikeja, lauded the President and Vice President for supporting the scheme, and stated that there would be plans to replicate the same in other parts of the state.