The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that the state is introducing an additional N5bn palliative measures to absorb the shocking effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.
The governor said this at a private sector interactive webinar organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Wednesday, where he noted that the N5bn palliative measures aims to ensure business sustainability and stimulate economic growth.
Sanwo-Olu added: “The funds will enable MSMEs to stay afloat and reduce job losses. Within the next one month, an internship programme, which would accommodate not more than 10,000 persons to acquire additional skills to keep them employed and engaged, would be embarked upon.”
According to the governor, these persons would be paid over the duration of training expected to be between three to six months, adding that, “We need to engage people, make them employable by your industries and put monies in their hands so that they can buy the products you manufacture”.
According to the governor, they plan to draw single-digit borrowing through the Central Bank of Nigeria and suspend all interest on borrowings on the state’s trust fund were underway.
While encouraging manufacturing companies to adopt longer and overnight shifts in line with safety measures, following his approval for overnight shifts, he announced that the state would be completing the biggest rice mill in the country by December to tackle the fragility of the food system of the nation.
“Collaboration with south-western states and some northern states are ongoing to address interstate food transportation challenges,” Sanwo-Olu adds.
He, however, pledged that the state would continue to remain accountable and transparent to the public with regards to donations by publishing in batches the donations as received by the government.
His words, “There are still some food items in the warehouse and we are working on distribution models to ensure they get to the masses.”
Meanwhile, in her remarks, the President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, expressed that the pandemic and the lockdown spiked severe damage and losses to businesses.
Decrying that many businesses were grappling with breach of contractual obligations and inability to retain employees, other challenges according to her are: collapse of consumer purchasing power, cost escalation resulting from exchange rate depreciation, loss of foreign credit lines, and the burden of loan repayment.Follow us on social media