FG disburses N56.84bn grant to 835,161 MSMEs

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*Adebayo

The federal government has disbursed a total of N56.84billion to 835,161 operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) out of the N75 billion earmarked for the MSMEs survival fund scheme.

The minister of trade, investment and industry, Mr. Niyi Adebayo disclosed this yesterday during the opening of a technical session of the 13th meeting of National Council on Industry, Investment and Trade in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State.

Adebayo, who said the beneficiaries of the programme cut across the 36 states of the federation, noted that the scheme was targeted at strengthening ordinary Nigerians and the reduce poverty index to the barest minimum.

Represented by the permanent secretary in the ministry, Dr. Evelyn Ngige, the minister said the federal government, through the ministry, had also provided credit access to 10 million MSMEs at a single-digit rate.

He added that the ministry had embarked upon various wealth creation programmes through Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) as part of government’s efforts to reduce poverty through creation of jobs.

“On the N75 billion MSME Survival Fund, the programme has disbursed N8.80billion to 293,336 beneficiaries under the Artisan Support & Transport Scheme, N43.92billion to 459,334 beneficiaries under the Payroll Support Scheme, and N4.12 billion to 82.491 beneficiaries under the MSME Grant Scheme.

“In total, N56.84 billion has been disbursed to 835,161 beneficiaries under the MSME Survival Fund scheme,” he said.

He added that the ministry had begun full activation of the six private sector-led special economic zones of Lekki, Eyimba, Funtua, lbom, Kano, and Benue which are working through the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) to ensure the Authority delivers the establishment of three SEZs in 2022.

The minister also stated that ministry had “in line with the presidential directive for the establishment of at least one agro-processing zone in each of the 109 senatorial zones, commenced the collection of agro-commodities data in 16 states – Ebonyi, Plateau, Edo, Jigawa, Ondo, Gombe, Abia, Benue, Osun, Sokoto, Zamfara, Enugu, Ekiti, Bauchi, Kebbi and Bayelsa for the first phase of the implementation.

“We are also ensuring credit access to 10 million MSMEs at a single-digit rate. In the implementation of this strategic pillar of the federal government to reduce the rate of unemployment in the country, the Ministry through the Bank of Industry (BoI) has disbursed N15 billion to 863 MSME businesses across several sectors.”

Besides, Adebayo said the ministry had actively continued to expand its collaboration with the private sector to create well-paying jobs for the Nigerian youths in fulfillment of the job creation objective of the government.

“The ministry, through the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), has trained 1,211 beneficiaries under its Info-Tech Skills Empowerment Programme (ISEP), Passion to Profession, and other Special Skills Intervention Programmes,” he added.

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