COVID-19: FG extends support fund to commercial motorcyclists, drivers, others

The Federal Government has extended its lifeline to artisans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic under its Economic Sustainability Plan to the transport sector.
Those who are expected to benefit from the transport support track under the government’s MSME Survival Fund include commercial motorcyclists as well as bus and taxi drivers.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday titled “FG commences N30, 000 grants for taxi, bus, Okada, Keke NAPEP, Uber, Bolt drivers and cart pushers.”
Akande said the inauguration of the transport track followed what he called the successful take-off of the artisans’ support track on October 1.
He explained that while the artisans’ track is under the Survival Fund, the transport track is a different scheme also under the fund.
He said: “There will be a total of 9,009 beneficiaries per state for both artisan and transport beneficiaries.
“Of this number per state, there will be a total of 4,505 beneficiaries under the transport scheme, while the remaining 4,504 will be artisan beneficiaries.
“For the transport track, Nigerians are encouraged to apply through their registered associations to be enumerated, such as the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers, Keke Riders’ Association, Okada Riders’ Associations and Unions, among others.
“All schemes are applied to beneficiaries on a first come first serve basis.
“State focal persons, project field officers, enumerators and others will work alongside the MSMEs Survival Fund Project Delivery Office to properly identify and ensure that members of the respective associations are paid.”
Akande added that the formalisation support scheme, which is about the registration of 250,000 new businesses with the Corporate Affairs Commission, commenced on the October 26, adding that the scheme will run for three months.
The presidential aide gave an update on the artisan track being implemented in three streams.
According to him, as of November 25, a total number of 59,000 individual artisan beneficiaries have been paid across 24 states in Stream 1 and Stream 2 states.
The states, according to him, include the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos, Ekiti, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, Plateau, Delta, Taraba, Adamawa, Bayelsa, Edo, Ogun, Ondo, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Enugu, Ebonyi.
He added: “The verification process for artisans under Stream 3 states commenced on Monday, November 30. Stream 3 states comprise Akwa-Ibom, Cross-River, Zamfara, Yobe, Sokoto, Nasarawa, Niger, Imo, Oyo, Osun, Jigawa, Gombe and Benue.
“Similarly, payment to beneficiaries under the Payroll Support scheme for different categories of MSMEs, ranging from education, hospitality to other sectors, has since commenced.
“The payroll support scheme, which is designed to support vulnerable MSMEs, targets supporting 500,000 beneficiaries with payment of up to N50,000 per employee for a period of three months, starting from October. The disbursements to approved Payroll Support beneficiaries commenced on November 17, 2020.
“So far, 207,319 individual beneficiaries drawn from 35,837 businesses/MSMEs nationwide have received their first monthly payment from the Survival Fund’s Payroll Support Scheme.
“A breakdown of this figure shows that: N30,000 each was paid to 180,196 employees/Beneficiaries; while N50,000 each was paid to 26,353 employees/Beneficiaries. Out of this, 2.6 per cent of beneficiaries are with special needs, while 43 per cent are female employees/beneficiaries.”




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