The Federal Government, under the Micro, Small, and Medium Scale Enterprises, MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus Scheme, formally inaugurated the artisans and transport sector track of N75bn ON Independence Day.
A total of 333,000 artisans and transporters across the country are to benefit from grants provided by the scheme.
Miriam Katagum, The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, who started the scheme in Abuja, said 9,009 beneficiaries from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory would be empowered from the scheme.
Katagum disclosed that the artisans and transport support scheme was initiated to provide 333,000 artisans and transport business operators with a N30,000 operations grant. She also noted that it would help to minimize the effect of income loss during the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant lockdown.
She also disclosed that special focus would be given to 45 percent female-owned MSME while five per cent would be given special needs owned MSMEs. The grants would go to self-employed individuals, especially service providers such as bus drivers, taxi drivers, ride share drivers and artisans; including electricians and plumbers.
In her statement, ‘One-off payment of N30,000 will be given as grant to each beneficiary. The categories of self-employed individuals eligible to participate in this track of the Survival Fund Scheme include mechanics, taxi drivers, ride share drivers. Others include hairdressers, ‘Keke NAPEP’ riders, Okada riders, plumbers and electricians.’
The minister went further to state that beginning from Monday next week, the free registration of 250,000 new businesses with the Corporate Affairs Commission would commence.
‘This will be at no cost to the MSMEs. The Federal Government will pay CAC N6,000 for each registration and this is under the formalization support and it is for all MSMEs that require formalisation,’ Katagum stated.
She urged artisans and transport business operators to maximize the scheme, adding that the government would require them to have valid accounts with banks in order to effectively benefit from the grants.