By James Emejo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Maryam Katagum will alongside other stakeholders discuss the opportunities and challenges of the Covid-19 on micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
The conversation slated for June 30, 2020, is part of activities to commemorate this year’s World MSME Day, with the theme: “Covid-19: Great Lockdown and Impact on Small Businesses.”
Other dignitaries expected at the engagement which will be held via web conference include Director General/Chief Executive, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, as well as chief executives of the Bank of Industry (BoI), Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), UNIDO, NIRSAL among others.
Addressing journalists at a media briefing, Radda said MSMEs and stakeholders across the country will be provided a registration link for participation in this year’s programme.
He said usually, the World MSMEs Day is globally celebrated on June 27 every year adding that the event had been moved to next Tuesday to allow for full participation of all stakeholders.
The SMEDAN DG, however, called on small businesses to take advantage of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s N50 billion COVID-19 Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) to grow their businesses amidst the impact of the pandemic on the economy.
He also urged the CBN to reimburse the COVID-fund to accommodate more MSMEs, noting that while the current lockdown had persisted, no one knew how long it would last going by the increasing numbers of new infections.
However, he said the agency had executed several programmes aimed at ensuring that MSMEs are developed as well as contribute their quota to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).