Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says 1.7 to 2 million micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will benefit from the recently launched Survival Fund and other business schemes.
The Vice President said this during a virtual interactive session by the Africa Report magazine which focused on Nigeria’s post-pandemic recovery plan also referred to as ‘Bouncing Back’.
Osinbajo said as more Nigerians and small businesses register for the recently launched Survival Fund scheme of the Federal Government, more potential beneficiaries are going online to access the N60 billion Survival Fund whose registration started on Monday.
He described progress recorded in the first three days of the registration of applicants as massive and impressive, restating the commitment of the Buhari administration to ensure effective implementation of all the schemes.
Osinbajo, while responding to a question on the implementation of the various schemes under the ESP for small and medium businesses, said the response by Nigerians to the recently launched Survival Fund was massive and assured that government remained committed to effective implementation of the scheme.
According to him, “A couple of days ago, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, launched the Survival Fund. The Fund includes a Payroll Support for about 500, 000 beneficiaries and the plan is to take qualifying businesses who have a minimum of 10 employees and pay salaries of those staff for three months.
“The portal was opened about three days ago and there has been a massive response to it. Payroll Support is one important way that we intend to support small scale businesses. We are also giving artisans and transporters, grants to support their businesses and it will cover about 333, 000 of such artisans and transporters.”
Osinbajo, in a statement issued on Friday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, said: “there is also a free business name registration that we are doing for 250, 000 persons who wish to register their businesses.”
Osinbajo, while referring specifically to the expected impact of the schemes on MSMEs, said: “We are looking at 1.3 million beneficiaries under the Survival Fund and under the artisans and transporters grants. Then we have a Guaranteed Off-take Scheme. Under this programme, basically, if you manufacture certain items and food products, we will buy them from you. Our target is about 300, 000 of such producers of foods. Both schemes will benefit about 1.7 million individuals and small businesses.”
Osinbajo, while reacting to another set of questions about the agriculture component of the plan, said the Agric programme is on course as 2 million farmers across the country have already been certified to benefit from the programme which aims to create jobs and guarantee food sufficiency.
On funding the stimulus package, the Vice President said N500 billion is provided in the budget out of the N2.3 trillion while the balance is being mainly funded through structured loans from the Central Bank of Nigeria.