The Federal Government says the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Survival Fund scheme has over 300,000 direct beneficiaries paid so far, amounting to close to N10 billion.
Mr Tola Johnson, Special Assistant to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on MSMEs, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja, at the Physical/Virtual 12th meeting of National Council on Industry, Trade and Investments.
Johnson, who is also the Project Coordinator of the fund, in a keynote address with the theme: “Impact of Survival Fund on the Economy of the Country ’’, said the numbers ramped up weekly once approved.
The MSMEs survival fund scheme is a conditional grant to support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in the sector to cushion effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The scheme is expected to save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country and specifically impact on over 35,000 individuals per state.
“As we speak, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is currently ramping up registration of new business names (250,000) for free to the MSMEs.
“By the end of December, we would have paid up 500,000 beneficiaries. It also means that we would have saved up to half a million jobs by December 2020 and will be on track to save additional 1.2 million by the end of the scheme,’’ the aide said.
He said there were five tracks in the entire scheme while the disbursement for the first track, the Payroll Support beneficiaries, commenced on Nov. 17.
According to him, 41,726 businesses have benefited from the payroll support track, accounting for over 238,868 staff who have benefited.
Among the beneficiaries, 2.6 per cent of Nigerians with special needs and 43 per cent of female employees benefited.
Other tracks are Transport and Artisan Grants, General MSMEs Grants, Formalisation of Business and Guarantee Off-Take.
He noted that the Project Delivery Office (PDO) overseeing the scheme, had been working closely with identified business clusters and collaborating with state governments to make the scheme impact on Nigerian citizens.
“All business clusters must be duly registered with the CAC, artisans benefiting under this scheme are not required to have numbers, requirement is for associations only,’’ he noted.
He urged Nigerians to call 07004005000 to verify any issue or any form of inquiries because the essence of the survival fund was to ensure that all MSMEs in the country survived.