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FG to unveil N65bn stimulus package for OPS

President Muhammadu Buhari

The federal government is set to unveil N65 billion 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.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, disclosed this at a virtual meeting held with members of the OPS, made up of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), and Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI).

The stimulus package for the OPS was revealed in a statement by Amb. Ayoola Olukanni, Director General, NACCIMA, just made available to Vanguard.

According to the statement, 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.

Olukanni, in the release, stated: “The minister announced 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.

“He revealed that under some of these interventions, 40% of the funds will be reserved for women-owned businesses.”The statement further revealed that Adebayo 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, and that of his ministry, to work closely with the private sector in this regard.

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According to Olukanni, the virtual meeting also discussed and 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.

The meeting was attended by President of NACCIMA, who is also the current president of OPSN, Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu; President of MAN, Engr. Ahmed Mansur; President of NECA, Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi; and President of NASME, Prince Orimadegun Agboade.

In her earlier remark, the OPS President 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 agreed 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.