The Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) made up of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) and Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), have agreed to work closely with the Ministry of Trade and Investment to reboot the economy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This resolve came to the fore at a virtual meeting with the Honorable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo on Thursday, 9th July, 2020.
The meeting was attended by the President of NACCIMA, who is also the current president of the OPSN; Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu; the President of MAN, Engr. Ahmed Mansur; President of NECA, Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi; and the President of NASME, Sir Orimadegun Agboade.
Otunba Adebayo affirmed that the private sector has an important role to play in the bid to restart the economy and assured the OPSN of his readiness, and that of his ministry, to work closely with the private sector in this regard. He announced that a series of stimulus packages will be made available soon to assist operators in the private sector. These include a N50billion Naira survival funds for MSME; and a N15billion Naira Guaranteed Uptake Scheme to save 500,000 jobs. He revealed that under some of these interventions, 40% of the funds will be reserved for women owned businesses.
The virtual meeting also discussed and agreed that the implementation of project and programmes under the Economy Sustainability Plan which was recently approved by National Executive Council will be in close cooperation with members of the OPSN.
In her earlier statement, the OPSN President Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu thanked the Minister for the opportunity given to the private sector to present its positions and requests. She called for closer ties between the OPSN and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, especially as the country struggles to save and reboot the economy. She said that present situation truly presents an opportunity to diversify the economy and make it more self-reliant, and steps must be taken towards that goal. Other issues discussed at the meeting were Maritime Port Reforms; Appropriate Gas pricing; Special Economic Zones and Industrial Clusters, as well as stable and regular power supply.
The meeting agreed on a quarterly consultative meeting of the OPSN with the Minister as part of strategies to work closely with the private sector for the implementation of appropriate policies across all sectors of the economy to ensure desired impact.