Ambassador Maryam Katagum
Ambassador Maryam Katagum

Individuals, trade associations will be captured in Survival Fund- Katagum

NEWS DIGEST – The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Maryam Katagum, said the idea behind launching the ‘MSME Survival Fund’ by the Federal Government is not to favour any particular class of business operators or traders, but rather to promote inclusiveness among diverse businesses, trade associations and individuals.

She therefore said both the individuals who are not members of any registered trade union or association, together with organized trade bodies and business associations, will all be accommodated in the process of selecting beneficiaries of the survival fund.

Katagum disclosed this at a press briefing, in Abuja, while launching the ‘Artisan and Transport Support Scheme,’ component of the fund.

She explained that the artisan and transport scheme was designed to provide 333,000 artisans and transport business operators with a N30,000 operations grant to reduce the effect of income loss during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its resultant lockdown.

According to Katagum, the scheme aims to provide 9,009 beneficiaries in each of the 36 states of the federation and the FCT by leveraging duly registered and recognized associations and clusters of registered artisans and transport organisations/workers with the objective of having their members benefit directly from the scheme, so that they can attest to its transparency and effectiveness.

The Minister of State, said the registration portal was been opened (today) for transporters and artisans in the FCT, Lagos, Ekiti, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, Plateau, and Delta, which are States in Stream 1 of the implementation schedule, to apply.

The portal will be closed on Saturday, 10 October. The registration windows for States in Stream 2 is between 19th October and 31st October, while that of Stream 3 is between 9th November and 21st November, 2020.

In his remark at the briefing, Mr. Tola Adekunle Johnson, the Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs (Office of the Vice President), urged artisans and transporters to take ownership of the fund in order to benefit maximally from the federal government’s intervention programme.

While delivering a vote of thanks, Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), called on various trade and business associations to sensitize their teeming members on the benefits of applying for the survival fund’s grants.

He advised prospective applicants to be wary of fraudulent persons and scammers who may demand money before registering them.