NIGERIA – The federal government of Nigeria is set to unveil N65 billion (US$167.7 million) stimulus package to support the Organised Private Sector (OPS) in the bid to boost the economy and mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, revealed the government’s plans at a virtual meeting held with members of the OPS.

OPS members present included representatives from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, and Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

According to a statement from the ministry of trade, the minister assured that the government will support and work closely with the private sector in its quest to reboot the economy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 The minister of trade further revealed that that a series of stimulus packages will be made available soon to assist operators in the private sector.

These include a N50 billion survival funds for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME); and a N15 billion Guaranteed Uptake Scheme to save 500,000 jobs.

The Minister also noted that a significant portion of the financial intervention , 40% of the funds, will be reserved for women-owned businesses.

Adebayo while speaking to the members of the OPS affirmed that the private sector has an important role to play in the bid to restart the economy and assured the OPSN of his readiness to work closely with the private sector in this regard.

The virtual meeting also agreed that the implementation of project and programmes under the Economy Sustainability Plan which was recently approved by the National Executive Council will be in close cooperation with members of the OPSN.

OPS President Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu in her remarks, called for closer ties between the OPSN and the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, especially as the country struggles to save and reboot the economy.

She said that present situation truly presents an opportunity to diversify the economy and make it more self-reliant, and steps must be taken towards that goal.

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 ended with an agreement on a quarterly consultative meeting of 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.

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