Not less than 300,000 beneficiaries under the Payroll Support scheme and 166,000 artisans have benefited from federal government’s Survival Fund programme.
The minister of state, Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagu, disclosed this at the first MSME stakeholders meeting in 2021, which held on Monday, January 11, and was attended by the Vice-President of Nigeria and other key stakeholders.
Katagum explained that implementation of the Survival Fund across different areas have lessened the burden of the pandemic on businesses in the country.
The minister added that the Survival Fund initiative has impacted over 300,000 beneficiaries under the Payroll Support Scheme.
According to her, the federal government has successfully completed enumeration and disbursement to 166,000 Artisans as of December 2020,
Mariam maintained that the government, through the Survival Fund, has filled the gap created due to the pandemic.
In his remark, the Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Kayode Pitan, said partnership with stakeholders grew even stronger in 2020 despite the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that the Bank, working with other stakeholders, will adopt strategies that will grow the MSMEs space in 2021 and beyond through the provision of facilities and other guarantees.
The Managing Director of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, who represented the private sector at the meeting, reiterated the commitment of the sector in supporting the Buhari administration’s vision for MSMEs through the various initiatives implemented in the Clinics and Shared Facility Scheme.
In the same vein, the Executive Director/CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Segun Awolowo, spoke about the collaboration among agencies in the MSMEs space in actualizing the objectives of the Federal Government.
He said the NEPC would leverage existing and renewed cooperation among agencies to actualize its new project aimed at supporting businesses in overcoming the COVID-19 disruptions, tagged “from pandemic to prosperity”.
Also, in a brief remark, the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Adeyeye, said though the COVID-19 pandemic limited the operations of the agency in 2020, some innovations introduced in the wake of the pandemic went a long way in improving its operations and the overall certification of products.
Other stakeholders, including heads of government agencies, expressed their commitment to work together to impact more businesses in the MSMEs space in 2021.