A university don, Elisha Auta, has called on Kaduna State Government to initiate intervention programme for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to keep them afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
Auta a lecturer at the Economics Department, Kaduna State University, who made the call in an interview with Journalists observed that businesses were on hold, while others had shut down because of the COVID-19 lockdown.
He said that the owners of micro businesses and other smaller businesses, whose daily income came from their daily sales, were the worst hit.
“The little profit they make is what they use to feed their families and now that they are not running the businesses, they use the capital to feed their family.
“At the moment, most of them have spent their principal and have to start all over again, as such, they will need all the support they can get from the government.
“The Kaduna state government needs to understand these issues and initiative ways of supporting small businesses,” Auta said.
He further expressed concern that many small business owners had lost their shops to the state’s market development programme even before COVID-19 hit the state.
“Others have also been relocated to temporary markets as part of measures to curb the spread of the deadly virus, a development that further put their businesses at a disadvantage of low patronage.
“It is, therefore, necessary for the state to have an all-inclusive team working on COVID-19 response, including the organised private sector, to help the state understand what is happening in the businesses community,” he said.
The lecturer also advised the state government to emulate the Federal Government by providing fund to support SMEs n the state.