The presidency has stated that no fewer than 319,755 Nigerians have benefitted from the Economic Sustainability Plan’s Survival Fund Payroll Support (FSP) introduced to cushion the harsh effect of coronavirus pandemic that has brought world economies to its knees.
It explained that aside from the recorded beneficiaries, more programmes would also be rolled out to cover other Nigerians, particularly, artisans, poor and vulnerable across the country in mitigating the economic reality.
The presidency added that the one-off Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Grant of N50, 000, would also begin within the week in furtherance of Federal Government’s support for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic under its ESP.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.
According to him, this is expected to increase the number of beneficiaries under the Payroll Support track, which has so far benefitted a total of 319,755 Nigerians, while 265,425 Nigerians are beneficiaries under the Artisan and Transport Support track.
“Of the 265,425 beneficiaries, there are 118,581 beneficiaries under Artisan support track, and 146,844 beneficiaries under the Transport track.
“The payroll support track aims to support 500,000 beneficiaries with payment of up to N50, 000 per employee for a period of three months.”
Furthermore, he explained that Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Survival Fund, a component under the ESP, was designed to support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in the MSMEs sector.
Laolu added that the scheme was estimated to save not less than 1.3 million jobs across the country and specifically impact over 35,000 individuals per state.
“Applications for the General MSME Grant and the Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus Scheme opened on Feb. 9 and closed on March. The general MSME grant is a one-off grant of N50,000 that will be given to each qualified MSME as direct cash injection into their enterprise.
“The total number of beneficiaries in this track is 100,000 spread across the States. More so, under the Artisan Support scheme, a total of 333,000 Artisans and Transport business operators nationwide would get one-time operations grant of N30,000 per beneficiary to reduce the effects of income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the same vein, 172,129 businesses have so far benefitted under the ESP Survival Fund formalization support track, which is aimed at registering 250,000 new businesses for free with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The formalization support scheme commenced on Oct. 26, 2020, with the registration by aggregators – CAC registration agents across the 36 states and the FCT.
“The processing of applications for the Guaranteed Offtake Stimulus Scheme is still ongoing and the commencement of this track will be announced on a later date. The Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus Scheme is aimed at protecting and sustaining the incomes of vulnerable Micro and Small Enterprises by guaranteeing the offtake of their products. A total of 100,000 Micro and Small Enterprises are to benefit from the scheme.
“ESP was approved by President Buhari on June 24, 2020, as a N2.3 trillion stimulus plan to mitigate the socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan was developed by the Economic Sustainability Committee chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.