The Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) has sensitized business owners in Kwara State about the modalities to be taken in providing economic relief for entrepreneurs.
The sensitization program was held at the Banquet hall in Ilorin the state capital on Tuesday.
The Project Cordinator, Mallam Muhammed Brimah spoke on the readiness and the rapid response of the Kwara State Government in making sure that the programs kick start and enhances business growth and encourage entrepreneurs in the state.
The sensitization program, supervised by the Kwara State Social Investment Programmes, KWASSIPs, is targeted at formal and informal businesses in the state that have negatively been affected by the pandemic.
According to the Project Consultant, Mrs Sherifat Suleiman “The NG-CARES for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) is a state level intervention program initiated by the World Bank and is being implemented in partnership with the Bank of Industry.
“The program is targeted at providing Economic relief and improving employment rate in the state. It is a grant for both formal and informal businesses and it has three categories which include loan grants, operational loan grant and IT enhancement grant.”
Under the loan grants, it was learnt that NG-CARES will return 40% of loan that originated between March 1st, 2020 and March 31st 2021 to the financial institution from which the loan was taken.
“This program will also cater for up to 50% operational cost which includes rents, payment of workers’ salary, utility cost, alternative power supply among others,” she added.
“Up to 1,200,000 IT solutions and equipment will also be provided to upscale MSMEs ans improve efficiency of businesses.”
In her remark, the state Commissioner for Enterprise, Arinola Fatimoh Lawal, noted that the program is in tandem with the cardinal objective of the Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq-led administration in the state and is to open the state to massive investment.
“We are trying to move the state away from civil servant state. We are trying to encourage our private business owners for Kwara to be among the industry states,” she said.
“Not too long ago, Kwara State Government launched Kwaraprenuer. The government is trying to encourage our youths and take them out of unemployment circle and make them self-sufficient so that they will be able to employ themselves.
“The state government was able to give out between N250,000 to N3,000,000 to our young entrepreneurs. The state government is so keen on promoting businesses in Kwara State, and creating an enabling environment for people to ply their trades. We are trying to cushion the effect of Covid-19.”295