FG Pledges to Target More Nigerians with MSME Survival Fund

Gilbert Ekugbe

The federal government has stated plans to reach more beneficiaries in the country with its Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) survival fund.

So far, over 1,258,183 beneficiaries have benefitted from the fund launched by the Buhari-led administration in 2020 to cushion the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic especially on vulnerable MSMEs and self-employed individuals in the country.

The Project Coordinator, MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Offtake Scheme, Mr. Tola Adekunle, who was represented by the State Manager, Lagos, Bank of Industry (BoI), Uche Nwachukwu, at a beneficiary town hall meeting in Lagos, said the Project Delivery Office (PDO) worked with several partners to drive the five different tracks meant to support and sustain the livelihood of vulnerable MSMEs and self-employed individuals most affected by the shock of the Covid 19 pandemic, its prolonged lockdown and attendant social distancing guidelines.

He commended the present administration for the support given to MSMEs through the scheme, noting that across the 36 States and the FCT, a total of 398,024 beneficiaries received a one-off N30,000.

A member of the Steering Committee, Mr. Kamar Bakrin, said the town hall meeting is to highlight the Scheme’s achievements around the country and to receive beneficiary feedback on all tracks of the Scheme. 

He noted that the meetings will also serve as a medium to sensitise the public (especially, the informal sector) on the advantages of Federal Government interventions. These meetings are taking place simultaneously in Lagos (South-West); Kano (North-West); Enugu (South-East); and, Edo (South-South).

He added that the National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) was borne out of the need to stimulate the economy post lockdown, especially for small and medium-scale businesses and self-employed individuals previously gainfully employed, by creating production opportunities for MSMEs and providing conditional grants to distressed businesses and self-employed individuals who have been strained with payment of salaries post-COVID 19. 

“A Steering Committee was inaugurated to run the Scheme and set parameters of engagement with the public. The Steering Committee worked directly with State Government-appointed Focal Persons who acted as liaisons to ensure the engagement of MSMEs in their States,” he said.

He noted that the anticipated impact of the programme was to directly engage 100,000 MSMEs in the production sector alone and save at least 1.3 million jobs.

He stated that the programme had a target of 45 per cent female-owned MSMEs, and 5 per cent for those with special needs, saying that the overall  target beneficiaries for the scheme were self-employed entrepreneurs, and micro and small businesses registered in Nigeria. 

“A verification and approval platform was launched by the Project Delivery Office (PDO), and beneficiaries in the 36 States and FCT were invited to apply via the Survival Fund Portal. Applications were verified in line with the Project’s approved criteria which were: Nigerian citizenship, registration in Nigeria with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), berifiable BVN of business owner and staff strength of not less than 3 persons

He pointed out that the implementation of the Survival Fund across the five tracks yielded positive results. The tracks are the Payroll Support Scheme, Artisan and Transport Scheme, Formalization Support Scheme, General MSME Grants Scheme, and Guaranteed Offtake Scheme.

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