BY MUIDEEN OLANIYI
The Federal Government has launched the transport support track under its MSME Survival Fund schemes for artisans and transporters.
President’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement issued on Sunday, said the grant was in continuation of the implementation of its Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) and in furtherance of its commitment to support small businesses to cushion the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Akande said the launch of the transport track last Monday followed the successful take-off of the Artisans’ Support track on October 1st.
He said while the Artisans track is under the Survival Fund, the Transport track is a different scheme also under the Fund.
“While verified Artisans have started receiving the N30,000 one-time grants, Nigerians operating in the transport business – including Rideshare drivers (Uber, Bolt, etc.), Taxi drivers, Bus drivers, Keke Napep riders, Okada riders, cart pushers etc., now have the opportunity to benefit from the scheme.
“The Artisan track is being implemented in three streams, and as of November 25, a total number of 59,000 individual Artisan beneficiaries have been paid across 24 states in Stream 1 and Stream 2 States.
“They include FCT, Lagos, Ekiti, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, Plateau, Delta, Taraba, Adamawa, Bayelsa, Edo, Ogun, Ondo, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Enugu, Ebonyi.
“While the verification process for artisans under Stream 3 states commenced on Monday, November 30. Stream 3 states comprise Akwa-Ibom, Cross-River, Zamfara, Yobe, Sokoto, Nasarawa, Niger, Imo, Oyo, Osun, Jigawa, Gombe and Benue.
“Similarly, payment to beneficiaries under the Payroll Support scheme for different categories of MSMEs, ranging from education, hospitality to other sectors, has since commenced.
“The payroll support scheme, which is designed to support vulnerable MSMEs, targets supporting 500,000 beneficiaries with payment of up to N50,000 per employee for a period of three months, starting from October. The disbursements to approved Payroll Support beneficiaries commenced on 17th November 2020.
“So far, 207,319 individual beneficiaries drawn from 35,837 businesses/MSMEs nationwide have received their first monthly payment from the Survival Fund’s Payroll Support Scheme.”