Government shares empowerment grants to transporters under ESP MSME Survival Fund

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In continuation of implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan, (ESP) to support small businesses in cushioning the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government of Nigeria has activated the transport support track under its MSME Survival Fund schemes for artisans and transporters.

ConsumerConnect gathered the launch of the transport track last Monday follows the successful take-off of the Artisans’ Support track on October 1, 2020.

While the Artisans track is under the Survival Fund, the Transport track is a different scheme also under the Fund, according to report.

Under the scheme, verified artisans have started receiving the N30,000 one-time grants. Nigerians operating in the transport business – including Rideshare drivers (Uber, Bolt, etc.), Taxi drivers, Bus drivers, Keke Napep riders, Okada riders, cart pushers etc., now have the opportunity to benefit from the scheme as well.

Report stated that the artisan track is being implemented in three streams.

As of November 25, 2020, a total number of 59,000 individual artisan beneficiaries were reported to have been paid across 24 states in Stream 1 and Stream 2 states.

These states include FCT, Lagos, Ekiti, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, Plateau, Delta, Taraba, Adamawa, Bayelsa, Edo, Ogun, Ondo, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Enugu and Ebonyi.

The verification process for artisans under Stream 3 states commenced on Monday, November 30.

Stream 3 states comprise Akwa-Ibom, Cross-River, Zamfara, Yobe, Sokoto, Nasarawa, Niger, Imo, Oyo, Osun, Jigawa, Gombe and Benue.

Likewise, payment to beneficiaries under the Payroll Support scheme for different categories of MSMEs, ranging from education, hospitality to other sectors, is said to have  commenced in the country.

The payroll support scheme is designed to support 500,000 vulnerable MSME beneficiaries with payment of up to N50,000 per employee for a period of three months, starting from October.

The disbursements to approved Payroll Support beneficiaries commenced on November 17, 2020.

As of now, 207,319 individual beneficiaries drawn from 35,837 businesses/MSMEs across the country nationwide have received their first monthly payment from the Survival Fund’s Payroll Support Scheme, according to report.

Analysis of the figure indicated that N30,000 each was paid to 180,196 employees/Beneficiaries; while N50,000 each was paid to 26,353 employees/Beneficiaries. Out of this, 2.6 percent of beneficiaries are with special needs, while 43 percent are female employees/beneficiaries.

A total of 333,000 artisans and transport business operators nationwide will get one-time operations grant of N30,000 per beneficiary under this Artisan Support scheme.

Similarly, a total of 9,009 beneficiaries per state for both Artisan and Transport beneficiaries.

Of this number per state, there will be a total of 4,505 beneficiaries under the transport scheme, while the remaining 4,504 will be artisan beneficiaries.

For the transport track, Nigerians are encouraged to apply through their registered Associations to be enumerated, such as the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Keke Riders’ Association, Okada Riders’ Associations and Unions, among others.

All schemes are applied to beneficiaries on a first come first served basis, report stated.

The formalisation support scheme (registration of 250,000 new businesses with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)) commenced on the 26th of October, 2020 and the registration by aggregators – CAC registration agents, has since commenced across the 36 states and the FCT.

The ongoing scheme will run for a period of 3 months effective from the date of commencement.

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