THE African Development Bank has said it would support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, especially technology-based ones with $500m in Nigeria.
The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, made this known at the 33rd Inaugural Lecture of Babcock University, Ilishan Remo, Ogun State.
Osinbajo said the Federal Government had been making efforts to support businesses and had introduced MSMEs Survival Fund at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and afterwards.
According to him, the MSMEs Survival Fund supported almost a million businesses after the pandemic.
He said, “We paid three months salary of several of the MSMEs especially private schools such as-private primary schools, private secondary schools; we paid for teachers and also for several other businesses. I think the statistics will be useful, especially as you further research and work; and so much have been done.
“But as I keep saying, it is a large country; a very big country; in order to deal with all those issues and in order to support more businesses in a way that they ought to be supported, a lot more money is needed.
“And just one final point on that, the AfDB has agreed to support the government with 500 million dollars for MSMEs in technology in particular; so, we think this is something that will be very helpful in addition to the N75 billion, which the government has set aside for young people in small businesses.”
The VP said support for small businesses must continue as they remained the future of the country adding that the support given to MSMEs had brought hope and jobs opportunities.
Osinbajo also commended the Seventh Day Adventist Church for the investment it had made in education, saying that the church’s gesture was worthy of emulation.
“The real of work of ministering is a work of ministering to the people, especially those who cannot afford to do many of those things themselves,” he said.
The institution’s 33rd Inaugural Lecture was delivered by a Professor of Business Administration, Oluseyi Oduyoye.
Speaking on “From Small Business to Big Business: A Future with Little Hope”, Oduyoye said that small businesses constituted a vibrant part of major economies of the world.
He said MSMEs were responsible for employing more than 47 per cent of workers in private sector in 2019.
He recommended that government at all levels, especially the Federal Government, should go the extra mile to support small businesses, adding that insurance should be encouraged to mitigate the losses of small businesses.