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Private Schools are among the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to benefit from the new Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) that was developed by the Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC).

This is contained in the latest press release of June 25, 2020 by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina

The NESP, approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on June 24, 2020, was developed by the Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC), established by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 30, 2020.

The ESC is chaired by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and also comprised several Cabinet Ministers as well as the Group Managing Director of the NNPC and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Recall that private schools operators and Staff have made their cases known to the Government through their umbrella body, the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), as to how the lockdown has crippled their means of livelihood since March when the Covid-19 Lockdown and close of schools was first announced by the President

NAPPS, through its national president, Yomi Otubela, requested for sector-oriented palliatives from the government to include moratorium on current loans, financial grants, support for workers' wages and provision of Covid-19 preventive materials in schools amongst others. This, he said is to gradually help cushion the economic effect of the lockdown on private schools abruptly closed through the Covid-19 directives

The new NESP provides some answers to some of the requests of the private school operator and teachers through the 'Business Support for MSMEs' plan as highlighted in the press statement released by Femi Adesina.

"This will take the form of payroll support to designated sectors so that they can keep their employees and help maintain jobs; and also loan restructuring and moratorium for existing debt. Also, low-interest loans to boost local manufacturing and production across critical sectors, including but not limited to the pharmaceutical, aviation, hotels and the hospitality industry, private schools, road transportation, technology companies, and the creative industry, amongst others. A Guaranteed Offtake Scheme for MSMEs will function by making government a key purchaser of specific priority products made by MSMEs, like PPE, face masks, face-shields, processed food, pharmaceuticals, etc," Adesina stated.

As schools plan on following the guidelines laid out for Post-COVID-19 reopening, parents whose children attend private schools should be optimistic that the Federal Government will keep their words in support of the teachers and school operators to navigate through the pandemic and towards the gradual reopening of schools as planned.

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