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Survival fund: We need to reach more Nigerians, says Osinbajo

By Oluwaseun Sonde

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The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo has said that there is need to expand the scope for the implementation of the Survival Fund under the Economic Sustainability Plan to reach a larger number of the Nigeria populace.

He disclosed this during a virtual meeting held recently with the Steering Committee of the MSMEs Survival Fund, Prof Osinbajo said about a million have been impacted and more interest already generated among Nigerians.

According to him, “So far, the scheme has commenced disbursement to about 500,000 beneficiaries: the Payroll Support Scheme has paid close to 350,000 beneficiaries.

“Almost 166,000 0f 300,000 Artisans have benefitted from the Artisan & Transport Scheme; and the Corporate Affairs Commission is ramping up numbers to register 250,000 new businesses free of charge”, he said.

He noted that by the end of December, an approximate of 400,000 Payroll Support beneficiaries would have received salaries for October to December, while structures have been put in place to commence the General Grants and the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme early next year.

Speaking on the implementation of the scheme and the need to expand the scope, the Vice President said “the data indicating what you have done so far shows that it is possible for government to deliver big programmes, and to deliver them credibly.

“And it is possible for people to actually benefit from government programmes especially with as little interference as possible from the political forces which is what has been the bane of several government programmes in the years past.”

Prof. Osinbajo added that Federal Government must find ways of expanding the scope of the scheme. “Because when you look at the numbers that we have approval for, the numbers are small in comparison to the enormity of the problems that we are faced with.

“Even if we are able to reach 2 million beneficiaries, it is still a tiny percentage of the millions who require help and assistance. So, I think, we have to find ways of trying to seek an approval to expand the scope of the scheme. This is an important aspect of it”, he said.

He commended the committee for their efforts in impacting the lives of beneficiaries of the Payroll Support, the Artisan and Transport grants as well as beneficiaries in other tracks of the scheme. “The partnership with the private sector in the implementation of the scheme was notable”.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum, Chairperson of the Committee; the Chairman of First Bank, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, the Committee’s Vice Chairperson, among other members.


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