By Abdullah Shugaba
The Federal Government will support Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with N75 billion survival fund to cushion the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses.
Alhaji Dikko Radda, Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), dislosed this during the closing of National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI) in Katsina on Friday.
The SMEDAN boss said that the N75billion survival loan would support 500,000 MSMEs and 333,000 artisans across the country.
He pointed out that the implementation of the N75 billion MSMEs Survival Fund nationwide would help to cushion the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses.
He explained that NBSDI was designed to provide entrepreneurship skill and empowerment material (equipment) to bridge the capacity gap of the youth.
According to him, the programme is also aimed at enhancing youth engagement in productive ventures, thereby ensuring that they become independent.
“The initiative is designed to ensure that more professional services will be provided by local and well trained young artisans leading to reduction in job losses to immigrants from neighbouring countries.
“It further seeks to pursue a drastic reduction in poverty as most of the our of youths who still rely on stipends from parents are empowered to become self – reliant,” Radda said.
The DG announced that the National Business Development Initiative was being implemented in seven states of the federation.
There are Katsina, Rivers, Delta, Ebonyi, Adamawa, Niger, Lagos, Kwara, Bauchi , Zamfara and Ekiti where a total of 1,397 entrepreneurs will benefit from the programme.