By Iduozee Paul, Benin
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Wealth Creation, Cooperatives
and Employment, Joel Edionwe addressing journalists recently in
By To help reduce the harsh effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on business operators in Edo State, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Joel Edion we has disclosed that the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki is eager to assist micro, small and medium scale businesses in the state to help them revive their businesses, as a result of the effects of COVID-19 crisis cause on them.
Edionwe made the disclosure while addressing journalists in his office, said the programme is designed to enable the citizens recover from the Covid-19 pandemic loss.
Joel Edionwe, revealed that the total amount of funds to be spent on the programmes billed for two years (2021 to 2022) , in Nigeria is $750million from which Edo State would spend over N3billion for its Results Area 3, and every state in the country will dra from the World Bank intervention initiative.
“This programme is an intervention programme between the World Bank, Nigeria, and by extension, the Edo State government. The programme is to reduce the effects of Covid-19. Ii is a stimulus or stimulant for the people. It covers three areas- livelihood programme, food security and other programmes.
“The programme is called Result Area 3, which covers Small and Medium Scale Enterprises or businesses, with post Covid-19 package for stimulus areas. The Result Area 3 is also sub- divided into three areas- Disbursement Linked Initiative ( DL1). The initiative must be back up by the actual disbursement.
” The programme is designed in such a way that the Edo State Government is the one given grants to Businesses that were affected by Covid-19, to help the businesses recover. From the Edo State Government to the people, the money is called grant, from the World Bank to Nigeria, and to the state government it i called loans,” the permanent secretary explained.
According to him, the state government will ascertain level of business performance and grant the support and the money would be later be reimbursed by the World Bank following verification of transactions. “If the results are confirmed, the World Bank comes back to reimburse the money the state government spent on these various programmes and initiatives. We are going to work to address specific stimulant for different areas of enterprises, businesses and shops, affected by the COVID-19. The DL1 talked about loans support for small and medium enterprises.”
He noted that the pandemic affected a lot of people adding that the intervention programme will offer 40 per cent of the business burden.
“The pandemic affected a lot of people. Businesses were locked down, people were sacked and relief of their jobs. Some took loans borrowed with interest in banks. Many of them cannot even pay back the capital, not to talk of paying the interest. The initiative is designed to give 40 per cent loans recovery assistance to those businesses and enterprises.
“What we are saying is that those who had some loan running were affected by COVID-19 and could not pay back. This programme will support them 40 per cent to ensure the repayment.
“The 40 per cent is not a fixed amount and is going to run in categories. For those for example, who have loan of N500, 000, you don’t expect their 40 per cent to be the same as those who have a loan of N5million. What we are to get from the Edo State Government is a grant to enable them pay back 40 per cent of the outstanding liability,” he stated.