Beneficiaries of the N66 million Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Survival Fund from the federal government in the south-south region of Nigeria praised the government for alleviating them of the hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic over the weekend.
The beneficiaries at a town hall meeting in Benin City, Edo State, also described the programme as lives-saving. The Chairman, Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners, Repairs and Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN), Edo State Chapter, Mr. Sylvester Obaweki, said more than 95 per cent of the members that applied for their fund, received it.
Obaweki, whose members stormed the venue of the meeting in appreciation of the financial scheme, recounted how the helped their businesses thrive.
The ACOMORAN leader said the members, being beneficiaries from the National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) would ever remain thankful to the government.
Also in his own testimonies, the Proprietor of Ogboro Computer Academy, Benin, Sunday Ogboro, said the government helped to pay four of his five staff members for three months under the payroll support track.
Jeff Obaseki-Obasogie, speaking on behalf of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), also commended the initiative of the government, but however sought for improvement so that many could also get.
Earlier in her address, the Chairman, Steering Committee, MSME Survival Fund Ambassador Mariam Katagum, disclosed that a total number of 203,537 benefitted from the various tracks under the scheme in the South South region.
“In the south-south region, the following statistics were achieved – Payroll Support Scheme – 74,030; MSME Grant Scheme, 13,899; Artisan and Transport Scheme, 73,161; CAC Formalisation Support scheme, 39,636 and Guaranteed Offtake Scheme, 2,811.”
She claimed that over N66 billion was disbursed for beneficiaries across the country. According to her, under the first scheme, employees received between N30,000 and N50,000 as three months’ salaries, while beneficiaries in the second one-off got N30,000 grant.
Katagum further explained that 250,000 businesses successfully registered under the third scheme, with a one-off N50,000 grant given to MSMEs under the fourth scheme.
In his remark, Special Assistant on MSME and Project Coordinator of the survival fund, Mr. Tola Johnson, applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the scheme.