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Business

FG pledges increased support for MSMEs, to create additional 1.3 million jobs

The FG has pledged to increase its support for MSMEs in the country to fight unemployment and aid economic growth.

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AfCFTA: Trade Minister advises Nigerian businesses to take opportunity of agreement

The Federal Government has pledged to increase its support for Micro Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country to fight unemployment and aid economic growth.

This is as an additional 1.3 million jobs is expected to be created across the country with the Bank of Industry committing N1.3 billion to support the MSME sector.

This pledge was made by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, during a Capacity Building Training for MSMEs on Monday, March 22, 2021, in Abuja.

At the training which was organised by Quantum Mechanics Limited in collaboration with the ministry, Adebayo said the fund would support the growth of MSMEs and artisans, pointing out that his ministry would continue to do everything possible to see to the growth of MSMEs in the country.

A development consultant, Mr Michael Olugbemi, who spoke during the programme, focused on the importance of MSMEs to economic growth and job creation.

While delivering his paper titled, ‘MSMEs, Beyond Survival’, he said that the Federal Government’s support of such small businesses at the outbreak of Covid-19 underscored their importance to the economy.

Olugbemi said, “On the outbreak of the pandemic, the Federal Government set up a committee to work out economic stimulus package for the country. The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment was charged with developing a package for the MSMEs.

“MSMEs are the backbone of every economy, so, it makes sense if the government is worried if they are not well-positioned. They contribute about 48 per cent to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employing about 60 million people, accounting for 80 per cent of employment and 7.5 per cent of total exports.’’

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He commended the Federal Government for its various support initiatives to ensure the survival of small businesses and urged the business owners to design strategies for growth and increased employment.

What you should know

  • The Federal Government and the CBN have initiated various schemes targeted at MSMEs who have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • These schemes include some intervention funds at special interest rates or cash grants as support to mitigate the effect of the pandemic.

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Business

CBN includes sugar, wheat on FX restriction list

The CBN is set to include sugar and wheat in the forex restriction list.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced plans to place sugar and wheat on its FX restriction list.

The plan was disclosed by the apex bank via its verified Twitter handle in a statement credited to the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.

The tweet stated: “Sugar and Wheat to go into our FX restriction list. We must work together to produce these items in Nigeria rather than import them. #Emefiele.”

It would be recalled that over the years, the CBN has been reviewing its list of restricted food items to include more items, with the most recent being the addition of maize, a widely-consumed staple food in the country.

What you should know

  • The CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had earlier (on Thursday) given this hint while on an inspection visit to the proposed $500 million sugar processing facility in Nasarawa state, belonging to Dangote Sugar.
  • In 2015, the CBN listed 41 items that had been placed on its FX restriction list citing that the move was necessary to conserve the nation’s foreign reserve and boost local production of the items on the restriction list.
  • Some of the items which made the 2015 list are margarine, poultry and eggs, rice, and cement.
  • In 2020, the apex bank included maize in its FX restriction list as it directed all authorised dealers to immediately discontinue the processing of Forms M for maize/corn importation into the country.
  • Nairametrics had also earlier explained in its publication following the new policy shift, that the government’s premise for deciding to restrict FOREX on food is faulty, especially since Nigeria has not attained full food security and the agricultural sector is still struggling.

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Business

FG signs new Sustainable Development Goals agreement with UN

The Agreement is for new development cooperation with initiatives towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals set in the UN Agenda 2030.

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The Nigerian Government has signed a deal with the United Nations to develop new cooperation towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in a statement on Thursday after the agreement was signed with the United Nations Office for Project Services, UNOPS, represented by Ifeoma Charles.

The Minister said, “On behalf of the Nigerian Government, I signed an agreement with the UNOPS represented by Ifeoma Charles Multi-Country Office Rep. The Agreement is for a new development cooperation with initiatives towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals set in the UN Agenda 2030.”

What you should know 

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are:

No Poverty; Zero Hunger, Good Health, and Well-being; Quality Education; Gender Equality; Clean Water and Sanitation; Affordable and Clean Energy; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Reducing Inequality; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate Action; Life Below Water; Life on Land; Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; and Partnership for the Goals.

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