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Covid-19: Restrictions cost Lagos MSMEs N2.7 billion – LCCI

The LCCI has stated that COVID-19 restrictions cost MSMEs in Lagos the sum of N2.7 billion.

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has stated that restrictions due to the rising second wave of the pandemic cost Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Lagos the sum of N2.7 billion.

This was disclosed by the LCCI Director-General, Dr Muda Yusuf, on Sunday during the LCCI’s Economic and Business Review for 2020 and Outlook for 2021.

READ: NAFDAC engages MSMEs to grow economy

Dr.Yusuf said that the major disruptions that Lagos businesses faced during the end of the year was the attack by hoodlums after the #EndSARS protests, and the lockdown restrictions during the holiday season.

Yusuf further stated that exchange rate challenges and local inflation posed a challenge to businesses in Lagos.

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“The business community witnessed two major disruptions in year 2020 – COVID-19 pandemic and EndSARS protest nationwide.

READ: COVID-19: WHO says there is no ‘zero risk’ for countries easing travel restrictions

“Our findings showed that MSMEs with active presence in Lagos lost at least N2.7 billion in revenue to the lockdown.

“The fiscal and monetary authorities as well as the coalition of private sector players provided several relief measures to cushion the impacts of the pandemic on the business community.

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“Business activities rebounded modestly in Q3-2020, following the relaxation of various lockdown measures.

READ: Africa to spend $9 billion on Covid-19 vaccine, access to supply is big problem

“However, the major challenges faced by the business community in the outgoing year include – liquidity crisis in the foreign exchange market, sharp exchange rate depreciation, high energy and production cost.

“Others are: ports congestion, cumbersome and burdensome customs processes, insecurity, inconsistent policies, regulatory uncertainties, land border closure and Apapa traffic gridlock,” he said.

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Mr Yusuf said that most businesses would struggle in 2021 though it was expected that the larger corporations would thrive in 2021 as the economy returned to positive growth.

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READ: FG releases new details on MSMEs support scheme, budgets N200 billion for loans

While most MSMEs will struggle to survive in year 2021 amid unfavourable economic conditions, we expect most large corporations to demonstrate resilience in the coming year,” he said.

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“We expect the economy to return to the path of positive growth in the second quarter of 2021.

READ: Nigeria’s economy will grow by 2.4% on average in 2021-25 – CEBR

“This will expectedly impact on the macroeconomic environment which may ease some of the critical economic conditions currently impeding economic growth.

“Without bold policy pronouncements in this regard, constraints to the ease of doing business including FX shortage, escalating production costs, high regulatory costs, infrastructure inadequacies and delayed cargo clearance will persist into year 2021,” he added.

READ: Inflation rate to keep rising by 2021- LCCI

What you should know 

Recall Nairametrics reported that the Federal Government on Monday, December 21, 2020, announced the imposition of new Covid-19 restrictions across the country including advising on shutting down bars, and event centres over the next 5 weeks.

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Business

The FG in partnership with the private sector will continue to support MSMEs – Osinbajo

Osinbajo has stated that the FG in partnership with the private sector would continue to provide interventions to boost the growth of small businesses.

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Solar, FG to slash import duties on tractors, buses, others in 2020 Finance Bill, Nigeria will not issue Eurobonds, says Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, FG guarantees mortgage loan to low income buyers at low interest rate, FG inaugurates gold refinery project in a landmark event

Nigeria’s Vice-president Prof. Yemi Osinbajo during an MSME stakeholders’ meeting, disclosed that the Federal Government in partnership with the private sector would continue to provide interventions to boost the growth of small businesses across the country.

According to a press statement issued by Laolu Akande, the VP made this statement on Monday at the first meeting of MSMEs stakeholders for the year 2021.

Prof. Osinbajo said the Government would continue to support innovation and interventions to deepen the involvement of new and existing MSMEs in the nation, this he said would help to improve the economy and create more employment opportunities for Nigerians.

He stressed further that the implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan Survival Funds has sent positive economic signals. In a bid to complement the gains in this space, the Government needs to scale up interventions in the MSMEs sector.

In this vein, Osinbajo urged stakeholders in the public and private sectors at the virtual meeting to be innovative in the interventions planned for small businesses across the country, so as to consolidate on the gains recorded in the MSMEs space in the past few years.

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What they are saying

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, during the MSME stakeholders’ meeting, said:

“We must continue to be innovative in the interventions that we plan for MSMEs because small businesses are the engines of growth of any economy, in the areas of wealth creation and employment opportunities, MSMEs are very important.”

Continuing, Prof. Osinbajo said:

“We really have to think out of the box in our engagements going forward. We need to change the way we do many things, we need to look for ways of multiplying our efforts because the challenges in this space are greater than what we have been able to achieve so far. Of course, we have done a lot, but looking at the numbers in need, you will find out that there is a lot more to be done.”

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What you should know

  • The Federal Government’s MSMEs Survival Fund grant scheme, which includes Payroll Support, Artisans and Transport support tracks, is a component under the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan, NESP.
  • The Survival Fund scheme was designed to cushion the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic especially on the most vulnerable small businesses, is a conditional grant to support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in the MSMEs sector.
  • The scheme is estimated to save not less than 1.3 million jobs across the country. However, 283,023 Nigerians employed by MSMEs across the country have benefited from the Payroll Support Scheme. This leaves millions of Nigerians out of the consideration of the scheme.

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MSME

283,023 Nigerians employed by MSMEs have benefited from FG Payroll Support Scheme

The FG has revealed that over 200,000 persons have so far benefited from its Payroll Support Program.

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Nigerian MSMEs suffer negative impact of COVID-19

The Federal Government of Nigeria has disclosed that 283,032 Nigerians employed by MSMEs across the country have so far benefited from the Payroll Support Scheme of the Federal Government.

This disclosure was made in a tweet shared via FG Survival Fund’s official Twitter account.

What you should know

  • The Payroll Support Program by FG under the Survival Fund initiative was created to provide an adequate buffer against the impact of the COVID-19 on the stream of income of MSMEs.
  • This, however, is an offshoot of the Survival Fund initiative, established to support and protect small businesses from potential vulnerabilities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In line with the mandate of the programme, the government will support MSMEs with staff salaries for 3 months.
  • It is important to note that the COVID-19 pandemic and other regulatory actions of the Federal Government affected the core segments of SMEs, as well as the revenue and income vehicles of Small businesses in Nigeria.
  • According to a survey by NBS, it became public knowledge that the total number of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the country was about 41.5 million, as of December 2017, with significant employment contribution running to millions.
  • In the light of this, it is plausible to say that the Payroll support programme is not inclusive enough, as the recent move by FG to support MSMEs leaves millions of MSMEs and their employees out of the radar.

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MSME

FG warns applicants of N75 billion MSME Fund against fraudulent websites

FG warned unsuspecting members of the public to beware of fraudulent websites demanding account details.

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The Federal Government has warned unsuspecting members of the public, who wish to apply for the MSME Survival Fund, to beware of fraudulent websites demanding account details, before giving applicants N50,000.

According to Punch, the disclosure is contained in a press statement that was issued in Calabar by the Project Delivery Office (the Coordinating office of the scheme) under the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and titled ‘Portal requesting for beneficiaries account details to get N50, 000 not known to us.’

READ: CBN reacts to videos, pictures of new N2,000 and N5,000 in circulation

The PDO is coordinated by the SA to the President on MSMEs, Office of the Vice President, Tola Johnson.

What the Trade, Industry and Investment Ministry is saying

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The Ministry, in its statement said, “Our attention has been drawn to the activities of fraudsters parading themselves as operators of the Federal Government’s Survival Fund Scheme.

“The syndicate operating a fraudulent portal with the link https://survivalfund-gov-ng.freefunds.xyz/#1609249530133(https://bit.ly/FG-survival-fund) are asking unsuspecting members of the public to check their eligibility for the scheme by providing their account details on the portal in order to be paid N50, 000 grant under the Survival Fund Scheme.

READ: How to access FG’s new grant for Bus, Uber, Bolt drivers, cart pushers

“It is pertinent to note that the Project Delivery Office (the coordinating office of the scheme) does not operate any such portal and beneficiaries do not require to go to the website to verify their eligibility for the federal government’s Survival Fund as indicated on the fraudulent portal.

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“The website requesting beneficiaries account details is, therefore, a scam. The PDO does not operate any such portal and wishes to advise all Nigerians and beneficiaries of the different tracks of the survival fund to be wary and desist from having dealings with the operators of the site.

READ: CBN raises alarm over fake tweet posts on N50 billion COVID-19 fund

The Ministry pointed out that the authentic survival fund portal remained www.survivalfund.gov.ng and the PDO would always inform members of the public on updates about the scheme whenever it was necessary.

What you should know

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The MSME Survival Fund, which is part of the N2.3tn stimulus package of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan, was introduced by the Federal Government as part of efforts to help businesses overcome challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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READ: SEC to refund victims of ponzi scheme, Dantata Success and Profitable Company

The MSMEs Survival Fund scheme is a conditional grant to support vulnerable micro and small enterprises in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in the MSMEs sector. The scheme is expected to save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country and specifically impact on over 35,000 individuals per state.

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READ: Germany’s 18th Century old bank begins a Bitcoin, Stellar, Ethereum Fund

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