By Dike Onwuamaeze
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo, has assured the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) that the federal government would soon announce series of stimulus packages that would assist operators in the private sector to withstand the COVID-19 propelled severe economic wind on businesses.
Adebayo revealed that 40 per cent of the expected stimulus would be reserved for women owned businesses, including the N50 billion survival funds for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and the N15 billion Guaranteed Uptake Scheme that is meant to save 500,000 jobs.
A press release that was issued by the Director General of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (MACCIMA), Mr. Ayoola Olukanni, said that the minister gave the assurance on Thursday during a virtual meeting he had with the leaders of the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) made up of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the NACCIMA, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) and the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI).
The meeting was attended by the President of NACCIMA, who is also the current President of the OPSN, Mrs. Saratu Iya Aliyu; the President of MAN, Mr. Ahmed Mansur; the President of NECA, Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi and the President of NASME, Mr. Orimadegun Agboade.
Adebayo affirmed that the private sector had 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 discussed and agreed that the implementation of projects and programmes under the Economy Sustainability Plan, which was recently approved by National Executive Council, would be carried out in close cooperation with members of the OPSN.
In her earlier statement, the President of the OPSN 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.
Aliyu said that present situation “truly presents an opportunity to diversify the economy and make it more self-reliant.”
Other issues discussed at the meeting include maritime and port reforms, appropriate gas pricing, special economic zones and industrial clusters, as well as the need for stable and regular power supply.
Olukanni said that it was agreed that a quarterly consultative meeting would be held by “the OPSN with the minister as part of Adebayo’s strategies to work closely with the private sector and ensure that the implementation of appropriate policies across all sectors of the economy achieve desired impacts.”