By G9ija

To commemorate Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary, the Federal Government is ready to disburse about three hundred million naira to 333,000 artisans and transporters under the National MSME Survival Fund and the Guaranteed Off-Take Stimulus Scheme.

The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Yalwaji Katagum, made this known in Abuja at a media briefing on the scheme.

Ambassador Mariam Katagum who is the Chairperson Steering Committee of the scheme said each beneficiary would be given one-off payment of N30,000.

She stated that the target beneficiaries include mechanics, taxi drivers, hairdressers, keke NAPEP riders, okada riders, plumbers, electricians among others.

According to her, beneficiaries from 12 states will benefit from the first phase of the scheme. The Minister of State explained that the states include Lagos, Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau and Borno.

Others are Ekiti, Anambra, Abia, and the FCT. Ambassador Mariam Katagum said 174,574 MSME operators have so far registered for the scheme with five states recording the highest. Also speaking, the Special Assistant to the President on MSME, Mr Tola Johnson, said N75 billion had already been set aside by the Federal Government for the National MSME Survival Fund and the Guaranteed Off-Take Stimulus Scheme under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan, (NESP).

Johnson said the gesture was to assist MSME operators due to the COVID 19 pandemic. In a remark, the Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises of Nigeria  (SMEDAN), Dr Dikko Umar, said all MSME operators in all the states of the federation and the FCT would be carried along in the programme. He said necessary measures had been put in place to prevent scammers and fraudsters from taking advantage of the programme.