MSME Survival Fund: South-West records over 200,000 beneficiaries

The Federal Government said that 211,962 beneficiaries across the South-West region benefitted from the Micro, Small and medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund scheme.

Mr Kamar Bakrin, Member, MSME Survival Fund, Steering Committee, made the disclosure at the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme town hall meeting on Tuesday in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the scheme is a programme of the Federal Government under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), to support businesses most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bakrin said in the south west region, 88,808 beneficiaries emerged under the payroll support scheme, 14,449 beneficiaries under the MSME grant scheme, 63,511 beneficiaries under the artisan and transport scheme.

He added that the 42,113 beneficiaries emerged under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) formalisation support scheme while the guaranteed offtake scheme had 3,081 beneficiaries.

Bakrin revealed that in Lagos, the scheme recorded a total of 47,758 beneficiaries under the five tracks of implementation.

He said that under the guaranteed offtake scheme in the state, 597 MSMEs successfully supplied their products after receiving mobilisation.

Bakrin noted that 1,210 MSMEs in spite of receiving the 30 per cent mobilization fee failed to deliver their items, thereby disqualifying them from receiving the balance of payment and breaching their contract with the Federal government.

“Today, those 597 MSMEs who successfully delivered their products will be awarded certificates of commendation from the Federal Government for their participations in the Scheme,” he said.

He stated that the anticipated impact of the programme nationwide was to directly engage 100,000 MSMEs in the production sector and save at least 1.3 million jobs.

Bakrin said that at national level, the scheme encountered 19,928 deviant cases, where MSMEs that were paid the initial mobilisation of 30 per cent failed to supply the items; thereby breaching their contract with the Federal Government.

He added that the committee had directed the appropriate agencies to commence the process of recovering such monies and possibly prosecute the defaulters.

Bakrin lauded the effort, integrity, and commitment of MSMEs across the country that participated in the successful implementation of GOS which required the supply of offtake items to the Federal Government.

He said that in spite of the rising production cost, these businesses completed their contracts under the scheme.

Project Coordinator, Guaranteed Offtake Scheme, Mr Tola Adekunle, said after the initial setback occasioned by initial public mistrust and apathy for the scheme, resulting in several applicants failure to complete their registration under the payroll support track.

Adekunle, represented by Mr Uche Nwachukwu, State Manager, Bank of Industry, Lagos, said the scheme received a significant uptake in inquiries for application details.

He commended the present administration for the support given to MSMEs through the scheme, noting that across the 36 States and the FCT, a total of 398,024 beneficiaries received a one-off N30,000.

A beneficiary, Mr Fidelis Adediran, also State Secretary, National Commercial Motorcycle, Tricycle Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria (NACTOMORAN), commended the Federal Government for the grant.

Adediran, the State Secretary, National Commercial Motorcycle, Tricycle Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria (NACTOMORAN), said that the fund came at the right time as his business was almost at ground halt.

“We got N30,000 each in our association and we are hoping to get another tranche of the fund and this is the second time we are getting the fund,” he said.

He called on the Federal Government to sustain the programme in its bid to provide welfare for its citizenry, stressing that initiatives such as these would help to address issues of kidnapping, banditry and other social vices.

Another beneficiary, Mrs Juliet Ugwuoke, said the fund helped her pull through the COVID-19 era.

Ugwuoke urged the Federal Government to sustain the programme in its quest to keep businesses afloat in the country.(NAN)

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