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Disbursement of N75bn COVID-19 support fund to start this week

Disbursement of N75bn COVID-19 support fund to start this week

The disbursement of the N75 billion COVID-19 support fund for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) will tee off this week, Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs, Office of the Vice President Tola Adekunle told newsmen in Abuja on Monday.

He noted that some of the beneficiaries would receive their fund this week.

The Nigerian government is currently implementing two support initiatives – the National MSME Survival Fund and the Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus Schemes – under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan with a view to supporting around 1.7 million MSMEs across the country with N75 billion.

“Presently we are doing it in batches of 12 states to be able to monitor the scheme and as we speak now 12 states are ready. We are hoping that by the end of this week, we will be able to pay 12 states.

“We are starting with the artisans and it is 4,500 persons per state, plus 4,500 for transporters, bringing it to about 9,000 for each state. Right now, we have about 54,000 from 12 states,” Adekunle said.

Read also: States plead for release of N67.2bn COVID-19 support fund

He disclosed that those on the payroll support scheme would start receiving their fund by the end of the month, adding that the payroll support has in mind businesses that have staff of between 10 and 50 people.

“We now pay 10 of those people from among the 50 employees and we pay them between N30,000 and N50,000.

“But the minimum we pay is three staffs for three months to support their businesses and to ensure that we are helping businesses to augment their salaries.”

Adekunle said around 132,000 applicants registered within the 24 hours of opening the payroll support portal.

“As at the day it closed, we had about 432,000 businesses that had applied. However, we have shortlisted less than 70,000 businesses that qualify and meet the requirements.”

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