As Nigerians continue to lament the negative impact of Covid-19 on their means of livelihood, especially their businesses, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that Federal Government has embarked on an array of initiatives aimed at cushioning the effect of the pandemic on the citizens and their businesses.
To ensure businesses do not suffer on the account of the lockdown, the Vice President said that conscious steps are being taken by the government to protect private investments especially small businesses in the country, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari had, from the onset of the health cum economic crisis, taken strategic decisions aimed at insulating businesses from imminent collapse.
According to Osinbajo, the Federal Government has issued a set of palliatives to help Medium and Small Scale Entrepreneurs (MSMEs) wade through the current economic fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that the palliatives will support MSMEs because the government has placed a huge priority on small businesses.
Osinbajo said: “Businesses across the world confront the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Government will continue to adopt and implement practical measures to ensure that the projected growth in the MSMEs sector is not seriously affected by the development.
“We are finding practical ways of not just giving succour and assistance to existing MSMEs but also ensuring that there is practical and active fillip to new MSMEs so that the growth of this sector is not discouraged by the current economic trauma.
“During and after this pandemic the government of Nigeria and its regulatory agencies are prepared to back MSMEs and other businesses that are prepared for the innovative and interesting times that lie ahead of us.”
Explaining he said: “Just after the first index case of the disease was discovered in Nigeria and before the lockdowns began, Mr. President put together strategic teams to immediately determine the impact of the disruptions likely to be caused to the economy and what our immediate and medium to long term approach should be. We have no excuse not to be one of the most productive and prolific economies in the world. Our hope is to achieve this aim in the incredible numbers of MSMEs that we have.”
Harping on NAFDAC registration of MSMEs which now discounted 80% for 6 months, Professor Osinbajo described NAFDAC palliatives for MSMEs as being thoughtful and strategic response to the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.