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100,000 MSMEs to get 50K grant each as COVID-19 economic stimulus – Presidency

Mr Tola Johnson, Special Assistant to the President on Micro Small and Medium and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs), says 100,000 small businesses will get N50,000 each as part of COVID-19 economic stimulus.

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Johnson disclosed this at the inauguration of the Implementation of Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-Take Stimulus Schemes for MSMEs on Thursday in Abuja.

The special assistant, who is also the Project Coordinator, said that the schemes were part of the Economic Sustainability Plan drafted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led committee and approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Johnson said that the schemes would go a long way in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on businesses.

“The schemes will be starting with the Payroll Support; the Payroll Support targets 100,000 businesses; however the number of individuals who will benefit from this is 500,000.

“The next will be the 100,000 MSMEs grants; what the government has done is to say that there a lot of MSMEs that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown; so, what we are trying to do is to very quickly inject N50,000 each to 100,000 micro businesses.

Afterward, there is a CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) free registration; it is free for the MSMEs but the government is paying the CAC for this.

“So, what the government has done is to say to the CAC, you do this regularly to the MSMEs at about N12,000 or thereabout; give it to us at half price, we will give it to the MSMEs free.’’

He said that under the National MSMEs Clinic, the vice president and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment have been to no fewer than 26 states.

Johnson said that in the course of the clinics, it was discovered that very creative businesses were not registered.

They will tell you they don’t have N10,000 to N12,000 to register their businesses.

“So, the government had promised that at some point, we will do and I think the opportunity has come now; the opportunity cannot be better than now.’’

He said that under the Survival Fund, the last strap would be the Transport and Artisans Support.

According to him, no fewer than 333,000 beneficiaries will get a one-off N30,000 grant, adding that the government will be working with associations, individuals and the Ministry of Transportation to implement the scheme.

After that, we move to the Guaranteed Off-take.

“We will be rolling out the schemes weekly; we plan to, for four weeks in a row, if we can and God permits put a smile in the face of MSMEs across all board.

“That is our plan; if things change, we will let you know.

“We are working with states because we do not want to get to a stage where the states will say how come 35,000 people are benefiting from our state and we do not know.

So, the states have given us focal persons that will be having regular sensitisation programmes for the focal persons and the different clusters’ association heads.

“So that they now go ahead and feed their associations the right information,’’ he said.

Johnson said that the website for the survival fund is www.survivalfund.ng.

On her part, Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, said that the two schemes were targeted to impact about 1.7million entities and beneficiaries across the country.

According to her, the MSMEs Survival Fund is a special grant to support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their payroll obligations and secure jobs from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said that the scheme was estimated to save nothing less than 1.3 million jobs across the country, while targeting an average of 35,000 individuals per state.

Katagum said that under the Guaranteed Off-Take, it was expected that about 300,000 jobs and 100,000 MSMEs would be saved by guaranteeing off-take of priority products.

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US Ambassador opens centre in Lagos, to boost entrepreneurial skills among Nigerian youth

US Ambassador to Nigeria has launched a centre where youths can gain entrepreneurship skills through programs and workshops.

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The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, opened the first-of-its-kind Window on America in Nigeria on Monday.

The Centre is expected to serve as a community center where young people develop their ideas, as well as their leadership and entrepreneurship skills through programs and workshops designed especially for them.

This was disclosed in a statement shared by Temitayo Famutimi, Information Specialist, Public Affairs Section (PAS), U.S. Consulate General and seen by Themoneymetrics.

According to the statement, the Centre, which was Hosted at the Lekki Slum2School Innovation Hub in Lagos, is as a result of a partnership between the US Consulate General, Lagos and Slum2School Africa, founded by Otto Orondaam, a 2016 alumnus of U.S. government’s Mandela Washington Fellowship.

The Ambassador noted that the new Window on America is open to everyone in the community, offering its services, programs and resources to the public at no cost.

She said, “We are happy to open the very first Window on America space in Nigeria here in Lekki.

“In the next few months, we will follow with six additional new Windows on America in the south and 12 across the country. We want our Windows on America to promote mutual understanding between the United States and the people of Nigeria.”

In addition to providing public programming space, the Lekki Window on America will support five core programs: English language learning, educational advising, alumni activities, cultural programs, and information about the U.S.

What you should know

  • Visitors to the window will typically include students, teachers, entrepreneurs, academics, journalists, civic organizations, government officials, and community leaders, in addition to many others.
  • Windows on America are American spaces that provide welcoming environments where visitors can learn about the United States, including its government, history, culture, and educational system through programs, lectures, books and electronic resources provided by the U.S. Government.
  • In addition to the Lekki Window on America, 12 more will be opened in major cities across the country, including Abeokuta, Awka, Benin City, Enugu, Osogbo, Uyo, Zaria, Minna, Dutse, Makurdi, Gombe and Lafia, in order to engage more Nigerian audiences in their local communities.
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VP Osinbajo calls for provision of capital to grow businesses for long term

The Vice President has stated that the banking sector plays a crucial role in promoting increased & inclusive growth in Nigeria.

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There is need to further deepen the provision of capital that will allow businesses to grow over the long term. This was disclosed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during the Bankers Committee on Friday.

He commended the DMBs for their patriotic contributions to sustain growth but called for the need to further deepen the provision of capital that would allow businesses to grow over the long term.

“The banking sector plays a crucial role in promoting increased & inclusive growth in Nigeria. I commend #CBN for the forward-looking support for growth-related initiatives, especially under the economic sustainability plan,” he said.

What you should know

  • On Friday, VP Osinbajo had called for crypto regulation, knowing fully well the role crypto plays in the global financial ecosystem, as he opined that such disruption often made room for progress, according to Nairametrics.
  • Osinbajo also advised the SEC, and Central Bank of Nigeria to create a regulatory road map, while fully appreciating the stance of the CBN, Nigerian SEC, and law enforcement agencies on the possible abuses of crypto assets.
  • The vice president further stressed the important role cryptocurrencies would play in the coming years as they would most likely challenge traditional banking, including reserve banking, in ways the world hadn’t yet imagined. He thus stressed the need for Nigeria to be prepared for such a seismic shift.

 

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Sanwo-Olu says construction work on Fourth Mainland Bridge to start end of 2021

Governor Sanwo-Olu has disclosed that the foundation for the proposed 4th Mainland Bridge would be laid before the end of 2021.

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The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed that the foundation for the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge would be laid before the end of the year 2021.

The execution of the bridge is geared towards improving the transport infrastructure and movement across the state.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by Sanwo-Olu during the 16th Executive/Legislative Parley, with the theme: ”A Consensus Agenda for Rebuilding Lagos”, organised by the Office of Civic Engagement.

He pointed out that the promise to construct the Fourth Mainland Bridge is not a political one.

What the Lagos State Governor is saying

Sanwo-Olu during the interactive session said, ”We did not politically promise Fourth Mainland Bridge but we are going to do Fourth Mainland Bridge.

”With your prayers and by the grace of Almighty God, we shall turn the sod and lay the foundation for the building and construction of that Fourth Mainland Bridge before the end of this year.

”We are on course and I am sure that the 37km ring road is on track, which will change the face of transportation and movement in Lagos,” the governor said.

The governor also disclosed that his administration was on course to complete the Blue Line and Red Line rail projects which were started several years back, saying the project will be completed and trains will move on the two rail lines before the end of his administration.

He said, ”It is a commitment that we have given to Lagosians and it is a commitment that we will see will come to fruition because we have finished the financial closure and we are excited about that project.’

Speaking at the event, the Special Adviser, Office Of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, said that the executive and legislature would discuss extensively the theme of the retreat, “A Consensus Agenda for Rebuilding Lagos”.

While saying that the discussion in the next 48 hours would help to fast track the rebuilding of the state, Adebowale said that they would delve deeply into issues such as Youth Leadership Role, Grassroots Development: a catalyst for growth, and Role of Social Media in Nation Building, among others.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Lagos State Government has shortlisted 6 companies for the design, development, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Fourth Mainland Bridge.
  • This followed the government’s issuance of a Request for Qualification (RFQ) in February this year. The 6 companies were said to have completed the technical and financial capacity requirements.
  • Lagos State said it will announce the selection of the next stage in due course, even as the RFQ will be given to the pre-qualified bidders.
  • The Fourth Mainland Bridge is a 37.4km freeway subdivided into three sections namely Island Section, Lagoon Section and Mainland Section. It will commence from Abraham Adesanya Roundabout in Lekki through Ajah and Langbasa areas, crossing the Ado Badore Road before arriving at the Lagoon shoreline.
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