Umar Naseer, independent candidate running for office in the upcoming presidential elections, has announced his intent to establish a 10 billion rufiyyaa investment fund serving small and medium-scale businesses in the country.
According to Umar, a former minister of home affairs, his presidency would ensure that such reserves would be used to fund government projects undertaken by medium and small businesses, in addition to Islamic Finance approved subsidisation.
He also stated that the fund would alleviate challenges faced by first time entrepreneurs seeking financial assistance.
Umar said that he believed that the fund would pave the way for new business ventures in the field of technology and in the way of serving communities, as well as leading to the formation of more than 3000 new small and middle-scale businesses in other industries.
“It includes acquiring start up materials, office buildings or establishing incubators so that they (businesses) may advance,” he elaborated.
Umar also assured that, in addition to the investment fund, he would focus on a number of initiatives targeting small and middle-scale businesses including reducing policies pertaining to such corporations, and reducing fees levied on them.
Pointing out the long waiting periods associated with government funded projects, Umar declared that under his presidency, it would be mandatary for all government bodies to finalise payments within 25 days of receiving a bill statement. He also added that all pending payments owed to private citizens would be settled within the first 8 months of his government.
He also expressed his wishes to discontinue the allotment of work that is attainable by local companies, to foreign-run or foreign-owned businesses.
Umar asserted that in his government, he would foster an environment where smaller and middle-scale businesses would receive various government assistance, eliminating the need for competition with larger companies.
Whilst opposition parties continue to struggle in finding common ground and declare a coalition candidate to topple incumbent President Abdulla Yameen, in his independent run for president, Umar Naseer has already managed to publicise a series of video manifestos declaring his intent and policies.