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FG disburses N56.8bn to 1m MSMEs

The Federal Government has disbursed the sum of N56,842,780,000.00 to 1,079,323 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), through the Survival Fund Scheme.

Minister of state, industry, trade and investment, Mariam Katagum said this in Abuja, while flagging off the Guaranteed Off-Take Scheme, last component of the MSME Survival Fund scheme.

The MSME Survival Fund scheme which was approved by the federal executive council (FEC) on July 1, 2020, falls under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan.

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Katagum said over 85 percent of the targets have so far been reached, with the intention to complete the remaining percentage.

They are the Payroll Support Scheme, Artisan and Transport Scheme, Formalisation Support Scheme and General MSME grants. She said all these schemes have yielded positive results that are verifiable and measurable.

Katagum described the impact as huge, adding that a multi-stakeholder team led by officials from the federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning are in the field, conducting an independent monitoring and evaluation of the scheme.

Under the Payroll Support Scheme, she said the government’s initial target was to reach 500,000 beneficiaries, noting that out of this figure; about 459,334 successful beneficiaries across the 36 states and the FCT have been reached.

Out of this number, she said that the government had impacted 43 percent female-owned businesses and three per cent businesses of people with special needs.

She added: “The Artisan and Transport Scheme had an initial target of 333,000 artisan and transport beneficiaries. We currently stand at 293,336 successful beneficiaries across the 36 States and the FCT.

“The CAC Formalisation Support Scheme set out to register 250,000 new businesses and I can report that to date, 244,162 small and growing enterprises have been successfully registered free of charge, across the 36 states and the FCT.

“Also, the General MSME Grants Scheme had its initial target set at 100,000 MSMEs and we have successfully completed the provision of grants to a total of 82,491 till date.”

She said the success of the foremost schemes have necessitated the launch of the guaranteed off-take scheme in the Federal Government’s renewed efforts to kick-start the economy and drive the needed growth.

The minister said while the scheme targeted 100,000 beneficiaries, 50,032 MSMEs have been pre-qualified out of the 65,976 applications received during the registration phase of the scheme.

She explained further that the aim of the scheme is to increase production capacity of the MSMEs while also boosting economic growth.

“It is important to note that the purpose of GOS is to stimulate direct local production by enabling 100,000 MSMEs in the production sector with funds to produce ‘post COVID lockdown’ off-take products.

“These products include face masks; hand sanitizers; liquid soap; disinfectants and processed foods such as garri, palm oil, groundnut oil, and spices. We have successfully carried out a mapping of products produced in sufficient quantities in each state of the federation and the FCT.

“At the end of the off-take process, items procured will be handed over to the state governments for onward distribution to schools, hospitals, NGO’s, as well as other public and private institutions each state government may wish to consider as beneficiaries,” she added.

She noted that the balance of funds from GOS will be re-purposed and applied to other tracks where there are high numbers of applicants on the waiting list.

Also speaking, the MSME Survival Fund project coordinator, Tola Johnson said successful applicants will be required to complete the pre-production and pre-supply phase of the project, after which a mobilization fee will be paid to them.

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