The Federal Government has disbursed N27 billion to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as part of the MSMEs Survival Fund Scheme.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, Amb. Mariam Katagum, Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, said that government would also roll out the last two schemes that make up the Survival Fund.
The minister said that the Steering Committee for the Survival Fund would turn in its reports to the Ministry of Finance as well as await the second tranche of the fund. Katagum, who is also the Chairperson, Steering Committee, MSME Survival Fund And Guaranteed Off-Take Schemes (GOS), said the existing schemes were progressing seamlessly.
“The Federal Government is set to rollout the last two schemes of the MSMEs Survival Fund component of the National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) namely, the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme (GOS) and the General MSMEs Grant.
“Two of the components approved under the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) are the MSMEs Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Scheme. “The Steering Committee approved the implementation of the 2 Schemes in 5 distinct parts namely; the Payroll Support Scheme, Artisan and Transport Scheme, Formalization Support Scheme, General MSMEs Grant and the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme.
“Under these two components, the portal will open from 11:59 p.m on Tuesday, 9th February 2021 to Thursday 18th February 2021 for the Guaranteed Off take Scheme (GOS) and General MSME Grant Applications. All interested MSMEs can go directly to the Portal and register for either of the Schemes free of charge,” she said.
She explained 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 lock down stimulus products. She pointed out that the scheme would give preference to products produced in reasonably sufficient volumes in each State of the Federation.
She said that the product must have the proven propensity to create jobs and have a multiplier effect on the surrounding economy. She listed the products of interest to include face masks, hand sanitizer, liquid soap, disinfectant and processed foods.
Mr Tola Johnson, Special Assistant to the President of MSMEs in the office of the Vice President, said that a total of 100,000 businesses across the 36 states and FCT would benefit from the new schemes. Johnson said that for the GOS, 2,640 businesses will benefit from 34 states while Abia state would get 3,080 beneficiaries, Kano 3,280 and Lagos 3,880 beneficiaries. He said that the same allocation would also be utilised for the MSMEs grant.
Johnson added that the portal for the GOS would be opened for two weeks while the portal for the grant would be opened for one week. He said that to qualify, businesses must be registered in the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), must be owned by a Nigerian and must have a minimum of two staff, stressing that the disbursement would be on a first-come-first-served basis.