After a week of the compulsory lockdown, Ada Osakwe, Founder of Nuli, a small and growing food service business in Lagos, started an online petition, #NigeriaSupportYourSMEs, calling on all who want the government to do more to support SMEs. As at April 20th, 2974 individuals had signed this petition.
The three main priorities of this petition are:
The recommendations written below are Nigeria-centric, and were thoroughly researched examining the country’s unique situation. They can be divided broadly into two phases: actions for immediate relief and actions post-lockdown that will stimulate a recovery in the aftermath of this crisis.
Actions that need to be taken within the next week, during the lockdown period, to stem the negative impact of the standstill in the economy.
Actions that need to be taken within the next 1 to 4 weeks as we look ahead to prepare for and stimulate the economic recovery during and post COVID-19 and protect ourselves in the event of another pandemic of similar magnitude.
After a two-week lockdown, we are already experiencing the fact that the Covid-19 will ultimately affect the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Nigerians who depend on being open for business.
#Support4AfricaSMEs is completely behind the #NigeriaSupportYourSMEs petition as it aligns with our objectives to help African SMEs to survive the Covid-19 epidemic and to thrive when the crisis is over.
This petition has inspired SME-owners, particularly those representing the vulnerable industries, to come together to identify the challenges that affect them and agree on the most urgent solutions they require to pull-through this crisis.
As an SME-led initiative, our solutions are authentic and directly from the ‘horse’s mouth’. We are therefore calling for a Government-led, SME-focused response to the crisis.
Also, kindly support this campaign by using the hashtags highlighted above. You can also check http://www.support4africasmes.com/ for more resources.