By James Emejo
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Mariam Katagum on Tuesday said a total of N10 billion had so far been approved for disbursement to vulnerable Nigerians and small businesses under the Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes.
Speaking at a media briefing to provide update on the initiative, she reiterated the commitment of the federal government towards the full implementation of the schemes.
The minister said disbursements have been approved for a total of 16,253 MSMEs businesses accounting for a total of 101,567 beneficiaries.
She pointed out that N30,000 was paid to each of the 94,696 employees/beneficiaries, while N50,000 was paid to each of the 6,871 employees. She added that about 2.6 per cent of the beneficiaries were people with special needs while 43 per cent of the total beneficiaries are women in line with the guidelines on disbursement.
Katagum, who is also Chairperson of the Steering Committee on the schemes further stated that disbursements for the payroll support scheme commenced on November 18 adding that it is presently ongoing across the country.
She however, lamented the inability of some states to meet their targets, assuring that the registration portal will be reopened to accommodate such states.
She had earlier promised that the intervention would be accessed by all eligible Nigerians.
Katagum, also listed other milestones achieved so far to include the verification for payment of 101,567 beneficiaries sourced from 16,253 businesses as at November 17 including 25,000 from Lagos; Kano 17,000; Abia 16,000; and 13,000 for every other state of the federation.
She added that 29,000 artisans have been approved for payment across the FCT, Lagos, Ondo, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Plateau and Delta States with female artisans representing 45 per cent, and male 50 per cent as well as those with special needs accounting for 5 per cent.
The minister said: “While disbursement to beneficiaries under the first stream was ongoing, enumeration of Artisans in Stream 2 commenced on October 26, 2020 and concluded on November 11, 2020.
Beneficiaries under this stream have been fully verified and will start receiving payments from Tuesday November 24.”
She pointed out that Stream 2 States comprised Taraba, Adamawa, Bayelsa, Edo, Ogun, Ekiti, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Enugu, Ebonyi.
She said enumeration of artisans under the third stream commenced on November 13 and was concluded on 23rd November 23 with beneficiaries from Akwa-Ibom,Cross-River, Zamfara, Yobe, Sokoto, Nasarawa, Niger , Imo, Oyo, Osun, Jigawa, Gombe and Benue.
Katagum added that formalisation support scheme which is simply the registration of 250,000 new businesses with CAC had also commenced in October with Lagos accounting for 9,084, Kano 8,406, Abia 7,906 and Other States 6,606.
“It is important to note that the selection of beneficiaries for all the schemes under the Survival Fund are treated on a first come first serve basis,” the minister noted.
The N75 billion schemes were launched as part of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan to aid the recovery of the economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.