Nigeria’s central government said it has alloted N56.84 billion to 835,161 beneficiaries under its MSME Survival Fund scheme, covering an estimated 76 percent payment of its N75 billion target.
Evelyn Ngige, permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), made the disclosure during the technical session of the 13th meeting of the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment, stressing that the fund would help strengthen Nigeria’s MSME sector.
Giving a breakdown of the payment, Ngige noted that N8.80 billion was disbursed to 293,336 beneficiaries under the Artisan Support and Transport Scheme; N43.92 billion was disbursed to 459,334 beneficiaries under the Payroll Support Scheme; while N4.12 billion was granted to 82.491 beneficiaries under the MSME Grant Scheme.
Ngige further disclosed that the ministry had, through the Bank of Industry (BoI), disbursed N15 billion to 863 MSME businesses across several sectors.
According to the permanent secretary, the initiatives are all geared towards the government’s commitment to taking 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next 10 years through the creation of jobs, various strategic wealth creation programmes through the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
She also explained that the efforts have led to the review of the national policy on MSMEs to encourage the establishment of more small and medium scale enterprises within the length and breadth of the country, thereby accelerating the profitable expansion of MSMEs along the chain of development.
Ngige highlighted other key programmes initiated by the ministry to create wealth and grow the economy to include, advancement for women in agriculture, agro-allied and cottage enterprises which, she said, has successfully developed the agro-processing capacities and capabilities of women.
“At the moment, over 300 women have been trained and provided with processing equipment as grants to enhance their agro-processing engagements,” she added.