The Federal Government has disbursed N56,842,780,000 to over 1,079,323 persons and businesses, including those registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for off-take scheme of the Survival Fund.
Amb. Maryam Katagum, Minister of State, Industry Trade and Investment, also the Chairperson, Survival Fund Steering Committee, disclosed this at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.
This is even as it flagged off the Guaranteed Off-take Scheme, with 50,032 beneficiaries already shortlisted.
She said that the scheme was the last track of the government’s Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Survival Fund scheme.
She further explained that the scheme targeted 100,000 beneficiaries, but that as at the time the portal closed, only 65,976 applications were received, of which 50,032 scaled the pre-qualification test and were shortlisted.
“To date, we have successfully disbursed the sum of N56,842,780,000.00 to 1,079,323 including those registered under CAC.
“The last track of the MSME Survival Fund is the Guaranteed Off-take Scheme which we are here to officially flag-off today. Building on the successes recorded in the implementation of the other tracks of the Scheme.
“The Federal Government is set to roll out the last component of the Survival Fund known as the Guaranteed Off-take Scheme (GOS).
“As you all know, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a drop in demand for corporate and household products and commodities in Nigeria just like it did in other parts of the world.
“It is in response to this that the Guaranteed Off-take scheme was conceived as part of the Federal Government’s interventions to assist small and growing businesses that were negatively affected by the pandemic.
“This track had an initial target of 100,000 MSMEs across the country. By the time the portal closed, we had received a total of 65,976 applications across the country out of which we have verified and pre-qualified 50,032 MSMEs that we are presently processing to off-take their products,” she said.
She explained that the scheme was originally scheduled to be flagged-off earlier but was delayed as the committee sought to address all issues arising from other schemes that had been implemented.
Katagum itemised some of the problem issues to include failed payments, balancing value and ensuring equity among states.
On the issue of verification and pre-qualification, she said that applications were invited from all states in Nigeria, adding that beneficiaries must be Nigerian citizens with valid BVN and having a staff strength of not less than three.
Giving a scorecard of government’s effort in other schemes, the minister said that the Survival Fund had made great progress in other schemes that had been implemented.
“Under the Payroll Support Scheme, our initial target was to reach 500,000 beneficiaries. Our current standing is put at 459,334 beneficiaries, out of this number we have recorded 43 per cent female-owned businesses.
“The Artisan and Transport Scheme had an initial target of 333,000 artisan and transport beneficiaries.
“We currently stand at 293,336 successful beneficiaries across the 36 States and the FCT.
“The CAC Formalisation Support Scheme set out to register 250,000 new businesses and I can report that to date 244,162 small and growing enterprises have been successfully registered free of charge, across the 36 States and the FCT.
“Also, the General MSME Grants Scheme had its initial target set at 100,000 MSMEs and we have successfully completed the provision of grants to a total of 82,491 till date.,” Katagum said.
The Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs, Tola Adekunle-Johnson, explained that those who had been successfully pre-qualified would be required to return to the portal www.survivalfund.gov.ng
to complete their documentation.
Adekunle-Johnson, who is the Project Coordinator for the Survival Fund Initiative, explained that the shortlisted ones would get a message and have three days to return to the portal to complete the required documentation.
He added that applicants would accept to move ahead or decline to cancel their application, noting that once the documentation is completed, it cannot be reversed.
“Applicants are encouraged to print a copy of their completed documentation from the portal. This will be used to verify supply details at the warehouse/collection point,” he said.
He added that the scheme targeted 100,000 applicants who would complete the documentation process, stating that once completed, they would receive an initial payment of N30,000 to commence production.
According to him, applicants had 14 days to complete production and deliver to their selected Warehouse/Collection Point, and would, upon successful delivery of items, receive the balance of N70,000.
“At the point of delivery, all items will be verified to ensure compliance for branding, packaging and quality control, and a representative of NAFDAC will run checks on all items,” he said.
The Presidential Aide further explained that all stakeholders would have roles to play in verifying and ensuring that the production was according to specification and quantity.
He noted that after verification of the items, the steering committee would hand them over to the state governments for distribution to public and private institutions like Schools, Isolation Centres, Hospitals and Orphanages.
He, however, said that only applicants who received SMS/emails were Zeligible to continue, adding that the PDO centre would be available 9 a.m -5 p.m, Monday to Friday. (NAN)