Ambassador Mariam Katagun, Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment

Government shares N10bn Survival Fund to 101,567 beneficiaries in Nigeria: Minister

*The N60billion MSMEs and N15billion Guaranteed Off-take Schemes under the Survival Fund are treated on a first-come, first-served basis, says Ambassador Mariam Katagun, Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

As part of its commitment to pulling millions of Nigerians out of poverty, deprivation and lack, the Federal Government has said it disbursed about N10billion from the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) Survival Fund to 101,567 beneficiaries across the country thus far.

ConsumerConnect reports the N75 billion Survival Fund, which comprises the N60 billion MSMEs and N15 billion Guaranteed Off-take Schemes that became operational September 2020, is the essential component of the N2.3trillion stimulus package of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan.

Ambassador Mariam Katagun, Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment and Chairperson Steering Committee to the MSMEs Survival Funds and Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus Scheme, disclosed this at a media briefing on the update of the Scheme.

The Minister stated that the list of beneficiaries fully verified has commenced while disbursements have been approved for 16,253 MSMEs businesses accounting for about 101,567 beneficiaries.

Ambassador Katagun disclosed that N30,000 was paid to each of 94,696 employees/beneficiaries, and N50,000 to each of 6,871 employees/beneficiaries, with 2.6 percent of them representing people with Special Needs and 43 percent are women in line with the set guidelines.

The Minister, who noted that the disbursements for Payroll Support were made nationwide November 18, 2020, said due to the inability of some states to meet their targets, the portal would be reopened to accommodate such states.

She explained that the Artisan Track Scheme is being implemented in three streams and enumeration of prospective beneficiaries under the first stream (Stream 1) commenced on October 1st, while payment to beneficiaries has been approved.

According to her, 29,000 beneficiaries (artisans) have been approved for payment across the following states: FCT, Lagos, Ondo, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Plateau and Delta, made up 50 percent male, 45 percent female, and five percent Special Needs.

The formalisation support scheme, which is simply the registration of 250,000 new businesses with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) commenced October 26, 2020, she added.

The Minister also stated the distribution of beneficiaries includes Lagos – 9,084, Kano – 8,406, Abia – 7,906, while other states have 6,606.

The selections of beneficiaries for all the schemes under the Survival Fund are treated on a first-come, first-served basis, said she.

Katagun said: “Some rural women, especially those in the hinterlands find it difficult to believe that the government’s intention is real.

“But it is easier for us the literate and urban women; in all, we are also overcoming this challenge.”

Tola Johnson, Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs, Office of the Vice-President, in his remarks affirmed that the scheme is running as expected as beneficiaries are beginning to feel the impact of the programmes.

“The PayRoll has been kick-started; for the first time, we are building a system that works.

“The scheme is working because of the media and other stakeholders, we are seeing the results now from the information we are getting from across the country,” stated Johnson.

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