Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has re-echoed the importance of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to the growth of the economy, especially in wealth creation and employment.
He said the Federal Government, in partnership with the private sector, would continue to support innovations and interventions to boost the growth of small businesses across the country.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande, Osinbajo said this would improve the economy and create more jobs for Nigerians.
Speaking on Tuesday at the first meeting of MSMEs stakeholders for 2021, Osinbajo urged stakeholders in the public and private sectors at the virtual meeting to be innovative in the interventions planned for small businesses across the country, to consolidate on the gains recorded in the MSMEs space in the past few years.
Emphasising on the scope of interventions for the MSME sector, the Vice President noted that the government must continue to be innovative in the interventions that it plans for MSMEs, because small businesses are the engines of growth of any economy, in the areas of wealth creation and employment opportunities.
“We really have to think out of the box in our engagements going forward. We need to change the way we do many things, we need to look for ways of multiplying our efforts, because the challenges in this space are greater than what we have been able to achieve so far.
“Of course, we have done a lot, but looking at the numbers in need, you will find out that there is a lot more to be done,” Osinbajo said.
He said the implementation of the MSME Survival Fund by the Federal Government had sent the right signals that MSMEs are an important component of the economy.
The Federal Government’s MSMEs Survival Fund grant scheme, which includes Payroll Support, Artisans and Transport support tracks, is a component under the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan, NESP.
The Survival Fund Scheme, designed to cushion the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially on the most vulnerable small businesses, is a conditional grant to support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in the MSMEs sector.
The scheme is estimated to save not less than 1.3 million jobs across the country.
He commended stakeholders for their cooperation and commitment in the implementation of schemes and initiatives in the MSMEs sector noting that working together, Nigeria can achieve more in the MSMEs space.
Earlier in her remarks, the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum said the implementation of the Survival Fund across different areas lessened the burden of the pandemic on businesses.