Wole Ayodele in Jalingo
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has warned applicants of the MSME Survival Fund to be wary of extortionists and refrain from giving money to anybody to access the funds.
Speaking in Jalingo, Taraba State, during a town hall meeting to sensitise artisans and transport business operators on how to access the MSME Survival Fund, Director General of SMEDAN, Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, stated that application and processing of the grant is 100 per cent free.
Insisting that applicants must not offer money to anybody to register or facilitate their applications, the DG assured the people that every application would be treated on its merit.
The meeting, which was attended by the officials of trade associations in the state including tailors, barbers, plumbers, NURTW and other stakeholders was scheduled to hold across the 36 states and FCT.
Radda stated that a total of 330,000 artisans and transport business operators would benefit from the programme across the country which translates to 9,009 in each state and FCT.
Each of the beneficiary, according to him, would receive a grant of N30,000 to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown.
SMEDAN boss, who was represented by the Head of SMEDAN in Taraba State, Mr. Bala Yusuf, disclosed that a special approves of 45 per cent and 5 per cent has been granted to women and people with disabilities as special beneficiaries across the schemes.
The DG further stated that the agency would leverage on duly registered and recognised associations and clusters of registered artisans and transport workers with the objective of making their members benefit directly from the scheme to enhance transparency.
He however noted that though the registration process was free, he urged every would be beneficiary to open bank accounts in addition to being a member of a duly registered association as well as BVN and a drivers’ license or any other valid form of identification.
A cross section of participants at the town hall meeting commended the federal government for initiating the scheme saying it would go a long way to ameliorate the current hardship being experienced occasioned by the pandemic.