Nigeria has unveiled a N75 billion fund to help the citizens and small businesses get over the Covid-19 impacts; apply via this link if you have not done so. In an interactive session this week, the Vice President of the nation, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, explained how about 1.7 million Nigerians and businesses would be supported and empowered. Already, about 175,000 people have already registered for the fund. Of course, my thesis has been focusing on growing businesses over spreading to millions.
When you want to empower one million traders with $200, instead of focusing on the top promising few with capacity to scale, you end up wasting resources as nothing changes. We have been running that policy for decades and nothing has changed. We can all believe whatever we want to believe. But the fact is that food prices are going up despite some “alternative facts” created by political hitters. That trajectory is very dangerous right now.
Yet, you cannot fault the government as the cardinal mission may not be to fund future companies, but rather, to share goodies to the lucky few, in a nation with limited identity records which could have made tax credits or other support mechanisms easier.
They are the MSME Survival Fund with the payroll support track as the first scheme to rollout (N60 billion); and the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme (N15 billion) to help cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government said the scheme will be implemented over three months. The scheme is part of the N2.3 trillion stimulus package of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP).
“We are looking at 1.3 million beneficiaries under the Survival Fund and under the artisans and transporters grants. Then we have a Guaranteed Off-take Scheme. Under this programme, basically, if you manufacture certain items and food products, we will buy them from you. Our target is about 300, 000 of such producers of foods. Both schemes will benefit about 1.7 million individuals and small businesses.”
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