The Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, has said the tracks of the MSME Survival Fund Scheme meant to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on businesses cannot be benefitted by all.
There are five tracks under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in July 2020.
They are: Payroll Support Scheme, Artisan and Transport Scheme, Formalization Support Scheme, General MSME Grants and Guaranteed Off-take Scheme.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Mrs Katagum said the federal government has so far disbursed
N56,842,780,000.00 to 1,079,323 persons excluding the recently launched Guaranteed Off-take Scheme but a lot of people could not partake.
“It’s not everyone that will receive. We work on a first come first serve basis on our database. I’m just informing you we had a large list waiting for us to make sure that we have reached some kind of equity,” she said.
Mrs Katagum also said the steering committee in charge of the schemes experienced some setbacks while implementing the scheme.
She highlighted them to include failed payments, interconnectivity problems between banks and wrong bank details on the part of the applicants.
On complaints that there was inadequate publicity of the scheme, the minister noted that the committee aired radio jingles, held town hall meetings, made fliers in different languages and shared them in parks.
She also disclosed that beneficiaries were not given cash but monies were disbursed to beneficiaries’ account.
“Nobody collected money on behalf of another person. Some people don’t want to tell their neighbors that they actually got this money. Some confessed. Some will say actually it is my friend that told me. I got but my friend did not get so they don’t tell,” she added.
She said although the list of beneficiaries cannot be provided to protect the data of beneficiaries, it will however be shared with the federal government who she noted will remove the sensitive information before making it public.
Breakdown of beneficiaries
Giving a record of the previous schemes, she said for the Payroll Support Scheme, only 459,334 have benefitted out of the initial target of 500,000 beneficiaries across the 36 States and the FCT.
“Out of this number, we have recorded 43% female-owned businesses and 3% special needs”, she added.
On the Artisan and Transport Scheme, the initial target was 333,000 Artisan and Transport beneficiaries but only 293,336 partook across the 36 States and the FCT.
For the CAC Formalization Support Scheme, 250,000 new businesses were set out to be registered but 244,162 small and growing enterprises have been successfully registered free of charge, across the 36 States and the FCT.
Lastly, the General MSME Grants Scheme had its initial target set at 100,000 MSMEs and they have completed the provision of grants to a total of 82,491 till date.
According to her, the schemes have all “yielded positive results that are verifiable and measurable and the impact is huge!”
She informed that a multi-stakeholder team led by officials from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning are already conducting an independent Monitoring and Evaluation of the Scheme which commenced August 6 and would end September 10.
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