Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja.
The Presidency has named three states as priority states to get the distribution of palliatives under the N75 billion Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) MSMEs Survival Fund because they will have more beneficiaries.
The priority states Lagos, Kano and Abia, while other states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are to have lesser but equal number of beneficiaries of the fund.
According to an updated Federal Government report on the implementation of the Survival Fund scheme, the presidency is adopting this approach based on the number of MSMSEs in the various states.
The report stated that three states were separated from the others in the distribution of slots for beneficiaries because of their special status in the MSMEs space, having a larger concentration of small businesses in the country.
According to the Spokesman for Vice President, Laolu Akande, confirmed that Lagos, Kano and Abia would get more share because of the larger presence of MSMES activities in the states than the rest.
According to the report, the Steering Committee led by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, is working to ensure smooth implementation of the programme across the states and FCT as focal persons are enlisted by the Project Delivery Office (PDO) to drive the operationalization of the schemes in communities within the states.
A detailed distribution procedure for the five tracks under the Survival Fund shows that for Payroll Support, Lagos gets 25, 000 beneficiaries; Kano, 17,000; Abia, 16, 000; other states 13, 000 each; General MSME Grants, Lagos, 3, 880; Kano, 3,280; Abia, 3,080; other states , 2,640 each.
For Free CAC registration, Lagos, 9,084; Kano, 8, 406; Abia, 7, 906; other states 6,606 each; Artisan & Transport Grants – 36 States and FCT , 9,009; and Guaranteed Offtake Stimulus Scheme (MSMEs), Lagos, 3,880; Kano, 3,280; Abia, 3080 and other states 12,640 each.
The report allayed fears of marginalization of states in the distribution of slots for the five tracks of the Survival Fund.
On the ongoing disbursement of grants under the Artisans Track, in the first set of states, the report shows that 66% of the total number of registered potential beneficiaries are male artisans while 34% are female artisans.
It said: “The intention of the Federal Government, under the scheme is to augment the payroll obligations of businesses in the Health, Production, Education, Hospitality and Food production sectors; provide N50, 000 grants to an additional eligible 100,000 MSMEs; register 250,000 new businesses with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) at no cost to the MSMEs; and Support self-employed individuals like Mechanics, Taxi Drivers, Hairdressers, Keke Napep Riders, Okada riders, plumbers, electricians etc with one-off payment of N30,000 to each of them.
“The plan is also geared towards stimulating direct local production in the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT by enabling MSMEs in the production sector with funds to stimulate ‘post COVID lockdown’ off-take products.
“Worthy of note is the fact that the programme is to save over 1,700,000 jobs and special focus will be given to 45% female owned MSMEs and 5% special needs owned MSMEs.
“The scheme comprises five tracks namely; Payroll Support, General MSMEs Grant, Formalization Support, Artisan & Transport Grant, and the Guaranteed Off-Take Scheme.”