By John Ikani
Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu has revealed plans by his administration to strengthen the nation’s manufacturing sector and support SMEs
Speaking in a national broadcast on Monday evening, President Tinubu said N75 billion has been budgeted to increase the capacity of the manufacturing sector and SMEs to expand and create good-paying jobs.
According to him, the N75 billion which will be spent between July 2023 and March 2024 will target 75 enterprises with great potential to kick-start sustainable economic growth, accelerate structural transformation and improve productivity.
“Each of the 75 manufacturing enterprises will be able to access N1billion credit at 9% per annum with a maximum of 60 months repayment for long-term loans and 12 months for working capital,” he said.
While noting that his administration recognises the importance of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and the informal sector as drivers of growth, President Tinubu added that N125 billion will be allocated to the sector.
“Out of the sum, we will spend N50 billion on Conditional Grants to 1 million nano businesses between now and March 2024. Our target is to give N50,000 each to 1,300 nano business owners in each of the 774 local governments across the country.
“Ultimately, this programme will further drive financial inclusion by onboarding beneficiaries into the formal banking system.
“In like manner, we will fund 100,000 MSMEs and start-ups with N75 billion.
“Under this scheme, each enterprise promoter will be able to get between N500,000 to N1 million at 9% interest per annum and a repayment period of 36 months.”
Speaking earlier, the President acknowledged the hardship Nigerians are facing owing to his government’s economic policies, especially the removal of fuel subsidy.
Tinubu who stressed that he understands the plight of Nigerians added that, the ongoing hardship was necessary for future economic prosperity.
According to him: “Our economy is going through a tough patch and you are being hurt by it. The cost of fuel has gone up. Food and other prices have followed it. Households and businesses struggle,” he said in a national broadcast Monday evening.
“Things seem anxious and uncertain. I understand the hardship you face. I wish there were other ways. But there is not. If there were, I would have taken that route as I came here to help not hurt the people and nation that I love.”