The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, says at least 237,138 people have so far benefited from the Federal Government’s special interventions in Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the North-West.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Scheme is a programme of the federal government under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) which was launched in September 2020 to trump the challenges by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mrs Katagum revealed this on Tuesday in Kano, at a town hall meeting with some of the beneficiaries of the scheme in the zone.
She said that those MSMEs benefited under five categories which are the Payroll Support, MSME Grant Scheme, Artisan and Transport Scheme, CAC Formalisation Support Scheme and Guaranteed Offtake Scheme.
Mrs Katagum, representing the Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Wale Fasanya, said the programme was created as an intervention to support micro and small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic across the 36 states and the FCT Abuja.
“The anticipated impact of the programme was to directly engage 100,000 MSMEs in the production sector alone and save at least N1.3 million jobs. The programme gave female-owned MSMEs special focus of 45 per cent, five per cent for those with special needs,” she said.
The minister explained that the target beneficiaries were self-employed entrepreneurs and micro and small businesses registered in the country.
Mrs Katagum noted that the implementation of the programme birthed positive results.
She said that, under the Payroll Support Scheme, the target was to complement the payroll obligations of MSMEs in the health, education, production, hospitality and food production sectors across the country.
“The target was 500,000 beneficiaries but 490,408 employees received between N30,000 and N50,000, as three months salaries in the 36 states and the FCT.
“Other programmes are the artisans and transport scheme, 398,260 self-employed individuals and MSMEs benefited with N30,000 each. Under the GOS, 82,491 businesses benefited with N50,000 one-off grant. Under the scheme, 37,024 benefited while the CAC Formalisation Support Scheme has 250,000 beneficiaries, across the country,” she said.
The minister said that the government would inaugurate more programmes to boost the economic activities and improve the living condition of Nigerian citizens. 5
NAN reports that certificates were also presented to some of the successful entrepreneurs.
The benefitting entrepreneurs expressed delight and commended the federal government for the initiative.
Ibrahim Aminu of KKU Global Links said that he was into the import and export of agricultural products.
Mr Aminu urged the government to release more funds for such programmes to enhance socio-economic activities in the country.
Theme federal government said the interventions which would gulp a total of N75 billion are part of the N2.3 trillion NESP currently being implemented by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to help mitigate the effect of the pandemic with a view to boosting the economy by saving existing jobs and creating new job opportunities.
NAN reports that the federal government said so far, N66 billion has been disbursed directly to 1.26 million beneficiaries.
It said 38 per cent of the beneficiaries were women including two per cent to people with special needs.