WorldStage Newssonline – Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo has said that the Federal Government of Nigeria provided subsidies to 280 export-oriented businesses, resulting in the creation of 100,000 direct jobs.

Adebayo said this when he took part in the 20th edition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration scorecard series organized by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture on Tuesday in Abuja.

The minister said that the donation provided through the Export Expansion Facility Program (EEFP) created an additional 20,000 jobs for youth and women.

He said EEFP and other trade facilitation and enhanced export market access programs were established to facilitate foreign trade and create more jobs.

According to him, this is achieved through programs such as export financing, infrastructure, capacity building and access to markets.

“The industry, trade and investment sector is critical to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy, job creation and poverty reduction.

“And as a ministry, we deliver on this mandate by creating an enabling environment for business to thrive, establishing an industrial base, lubricating the wheels of commerce and instilling confidence in economic activities,” the minister said.

He said the ministry created a strategic plan to diversify the Nigerian economy for growth, job creation and poverty reduction.

“The plan included industrialization, the growth of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MIPYMES), the acceleration of investment and the promotion of trade.

“The digitization of processes, anti-smuggling measures and a delivery framework allowed it.

Adebayo said that the ministry launched several initiatives aimed at fostering the growth of MSMEs.

According to him, these include measures to improve MSMEs’ access to financing, market access and reduction of operating costs.

“From 2019 to July 2022, the Federal Government successfully disbursed approximately N785 billion through the Bank of Industry (BoI) to more than 10 million MSMEs.

“This was made possible by the BoI expanding its capital base to $5 billion with international partners such as AFREXIM and Credit Suisse, among others,” he said.

Adebayo also said that the ministry revised the MSME policy to boost the growth and competitiveness of MSMEs in the country.

“And we successfully increased the nation’s ability to finance technology-driven MSMEs by securing the $500 million Technology Fund through our collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB),” he said.

While noting that the MSME sector was still struggling, Adebayo said that the National Policy for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises boosted the growth of MSMEs.

“We know that this crucial sector is struggling. The policy helps address these concerns. The Market Hub MiPyMEs facilitates the client-MiPyMEs relationship.

He also said the $500 million investment in the Digital and Creative Enterprises (iDICE) fund sponsored by the BoI, AfDB, Islamic Development Bank and Agence Française de Development could revolutionize Nigeria’s digital and creative MSME sector.

Adebayo said the BoI had provided grants and low-interest loans to 4.3 million MSMEs through various intervention initiatives.

However, the minister said that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MSME Survival Fund Initiative was inaugurated as part of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP).

He said that the initiative protected MSMEs from the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“As of July 2022, 67.5 billion naira had been distributed to more than 1.2 million beneficiaries, saving and creating jobs,” the minister said.