MSME Survival Fund: FG launches Transport Supports, urges Transporters to take advantage of the opportunity

The Federal Government has emphasised its commitment to mitigating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the lives of ordinary citizens with the launch of the Transport Track of the Artisan/Transport Support Scheme.

According to an update this evening from the Project Delivery Office, "the fund is for people whose transport businesses were affected by the pandemic. It is available for every transporter that drives buses, taxis, tricycles, motorcycles or any other kind of transport business."

Mr Tola Johnson, the Project Coordinator and also Special Adviser to the president on MSMEs has during the launching of the scheme reiterated the measures put in place to ensure transparency, and urged transport workers to take advantage of this opportunity.

The MSME Survival Funds especially the Artisan/Transport Supports and  General Grant have been like a mirage to many recently but there are lines that have not been clearly understood:

The Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Mariam Yelwaji  Katagum has Wednesday disclosed that the MSME Survival Funds General Grants would take off from November 27, 2020 as contained in Daily Trust, 25th November, 2020.

A lot of Nigerians who awaited the opening of the portal for the registration had wondered why they were left in the dark as the portal https://www.survivalfund.gov.ng remained inaccessible. 

But according to Mrs Katagum in her statement, "this group of beneficiaries is encouraged to take advantage of registration through MSME associations, registered business clusters, trade associations, and unions."

The statement above implies that just like the Artisan/Transport Supports, the application process would be direct data capture of registered clusters such as associations or Unions of Enterprises.

Ajuri Ngelale, Senior Special Assistant to President Mohammadu Buhari on Public Affairs, had during an interactive segment on the MoneyLine Program with Nancy Nnaji on African Independent Televission (AIT) while explaining the Artisan/Transport Grant noted that to ensure capture of individuals who truly needed the Grant, direct capture of Association/Union has been considered more effective other than throwing the program to those who are just on Twitter waiting for application portal to open without any MSME experience or existing businesses.

Similarly, the Project Cordinator and Special Assistant to President Mohammadu Buhari on MSME, Mr Tola Johnson, and the Director General of SMEDAN, Dikko Umaru Radda in separate speeches during a supervisory visit to Apo Mechanic Village, Abuja to oversee the Activation of the Artisans in the area, noted that it was a necessity for the Federal Government to ensure that the process is not only free and fair but also reaches the beneficiaries who are truly in need of it.

Umaru furthered that similar approaches would be employed to other components  of the Programme including the Guranteed Offtake Scheme, to ensure that the Grant actually gets to the people.

From the above lines, it clearly shows that the N75 Billion MSME Survival Funds is not a scam but there are measures and processes to ensure that the beneficiaries are actually those affected by COVID-19 Pandemic and truly in need of it.

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