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Nigeria opens applications for salary support, grants for schools, SMEs

There is an opportunity for school owners and other small businesses that have been unable to pay staff salaries since the beginning of COVID-19 induced lockdowns to get some succour.

Starting 10pm tonight, such businesses will be able to apply for benefits including a payroll support to cover salary obligations of between N30,000 to N50,000 per employee over 3 months, and this is targeted at 500,000 vulnerable Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). It is part of the N75 billion MSME survival fund by the Federal government, which is itself a component of the N2.3 trillion Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP).

“As the portal for registration of prospective beneficiaries of #SurvivalFundNG opens today, interested Nigerians in the Payroll Support scheme are to note that the site will be open from 10pm Monday September 21, 2020,” read a tweet via @NigeriaGov, official twitter handle of the Nigerian government this morning.

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A subsequent tweet also noted “The portal will also be open to other categories of small businesses from 12am, on Mon Sept 28, 2020.”

Prospective beneficiaries are to access the portal via https://survivalfund.ng. It is also stated that it will provide what is called “Formalisation support” that will see free Business name registrations for 250,000 new businesses. There will also be provision of small grants of N50,000 to support the survival of “100,000 businesses most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Artisans and those in the transport industry are not left out, with 333,000 beneficiaries to receive N30,000 “operations grant to reduce the effects of income loss.”

There will also be a Guaranteed Offtake Scheme, which will entail bulk purchase of products from 100,000 MSMEs to protect jobs and livelihoods, according to the Survival Fund website.

To benefit, prospective businesses must be Nigerian-owned; registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC); the business owner must have a BVN; and staff strength should not be less than 10 for Payroll Support and 3 for Guaranteed Offtake Scheme.

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