As the implementation of its Economic Sustainability Plan, ESP, continues, and in furtherance of its commitment to support small businesses to cushion the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Buhari administration has commenced payment to beneficiaries of the payroll support scheme track under the MSME Survival Fund.
According to Laolu Akande, Media Aide to the Vice President, the MSME Survival Fund, a component under the ESP, is generally designed to, among other things, support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their different obligations and safeguard jobs in the sector
He said so far, 101,567 verified employees drawn from 16,250 businesses have received their first monthly payment from the Survival Fund’s Payroll Support Scheme, which is designed to support vulnerable MSMEs by paying the salaries of their staff for a period of three months.
Verification is still ongoing as the payroll support scheme targets supporting 500,000 beneficiaries with payment of up to N50,000 per employee during the duration of 3 months, starting from October.
It would be recalled that registration for the Payroll Support had commenced on Monday, 21st September, for different categories of MSMEs – education, hospitality and other sectors (general); and ended on the 15th of October.
The requirements needed for the application include: the employees’ company must be registered in Nigeria under the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC; must have a BVN; the business have a staff strength of at least 3 persons with proof of monthly salary payment and must be owned by a Nigerian in Nigeria.
All successful applicants had received SMS and email verification with a list of requirements for the second stage of application, while applicants/businesses were required to upload their details and documents supporting their applications for verification.
The commencement of payment for beneficiaries of the Survival Fund payroll support follows that of the ongoing N30,000 one-time grant payment to artisans nationwide. The payments are being made to sets of verified beneficiaries of the Artisan Support Scheme, a track under the MSMEs Survival Fund. The Artisans’ scheme is paying one-time grants of N30,000 to a total of 333,000 beneficiaries across the country.
In the first stream of payments which started at the end of October, beneficiaries are being drawn from the FCT, Lagos, Ondo, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Plateau and Delta States. They form the first batch of applications for the scheme submitted between October 1 and October 10.
The Survival Fund grant has been designed to cushion the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on the most vulnerable MSMEs across Nigeria, targeting 1.7 million individuals and entities across Nigeria.
The MSME Survival Fund is a conditional grant to support vulnerable micro and small enterprises in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard Jobs in the MSMEs sector. The scheme is estimated to save not less than 1.3million jobs across the country and specifically impact on over 35,000 individuals per state.
The scheme made provision for a 45% female business participation and 5% participation of persons with special needs.
The MSMEs Survival Fund scheme is a component of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan, NESP, which was developed by an Economic Sustainability Committee established by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2020. The President asked his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to head the committee which produced the plan and is overseeing its implementation.