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FG begins disbursement of MSME survival fund to artisans

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The Federal Government, yesterday, began the disbursement of its Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Survival Fund.

The Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs/DFIs, Tola Johnson, said the fund is N30, 000 and a one-off grant to support artisans. He disclosed that the disbursement of the payroll support scheme would begin in no distant time.

Johnson stated this at the activation of the Artisan Scheme of the MSME fund by the Bank of Industry (BoI) in Bariga, a community in Lagos.

According to him, the government in its wisdom thought about how it could support different clusters of businesses affected by the pandemic; hence the fund.

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“We have people for the payroll support, the artisan and the transport sectors. We also have people that we give money to cushion the effect of the pandemic on their businesses. The federal government resolved to support 500,000 people every month for three months, while also supporting 303,000 artisans with a N30, 000 one-off grant and N50, 000 to about 100,000 businesses that have been affected by the pandemic.”

He stated that to track the successful implementation of the scheme, the federal government is deploying monitoring and evaluation processes to ensure that the fund is judiciously disbursed.

He added: “We are carrying out this programme in phases so that we can learn from our mistakes and correct them in the second stream. We are trying to monitor, to a large extent, to ensure that what was approved is what is being done.”

In the Bariga cluster, over 400 people have benefitted from the scheme with another 11 clusters approved last week, a second stream of states is waiting for approval for disbursement.

“For the payroll segment, we will let the public know when we want to commence disbursement. Every State has about 6600 new business names to be registered for free, but the federal government is paying N6, 000 per business to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

Earlier, the Chairman, National Union of Tailors (NUT), Bariga Chapter, Balogun Olatunde, commended the federal government for supporting small businesses but called on the federal government to do more.

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