By Blessing Odega
Jos, Oct. 16, 2020 Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Maryam Katagum, has said that 9,009 duly registered artisans and members of trade unions in Plateau will benefit from the Artisan and Transport scheme.
Katagum said that the scheme was the Federal Government’s support to provide artisans and business operators with N30,000 operations grant each and to reduce the effect of income loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The minister, who was represented by the Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund(ITF), Mr Joseph Ari, called on artisans and other trade associations and unions to take advantage and ownership of the scheme.
She explained that the scheme was absolutely free and that no one should pay anything as a means of obtaining the grant.
Katagum, who is also the chairperson, Survival Fund Steering Committee, said that the grant of N30, 000 would be paid directly into the beneficiary’s bank account.
According to her, the requirements are membership of duly registered trade association or cluster, Bank Verification Number and Driver’s License or any valid form of identification.
She, however, appealed to the various trade unions to ensure that the selection of potential beneficiaries among their members was done transparently and without friction.
In his remarks, the Director General of Plateau State Microfinance Development Agency (PLASMIDA),Mr Haggai Gutap, called on the potential beneficiaries to ensure that they made the best use of the grant by investing it back in their businesses.
Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau, represented by his deputy, Prof. Sonni Tyoden, said his administration was committed to lifting the Plateau residents out of poverty by reducing the level of unemployment.
He stated that the Plateau Government had keyed into the COVID-19 action economic stimulus programme of the World Bank and that of the Federal Government’s N 75 billion MSME survival fund.
Lalong commended the DG of ITF, for remodelling the ITF to a world class organisation where high performance was obtained.
He said the ITF was making the desired difference in the lives of many Nigerians, pointing out that the height that Plateau was attaining in SME’s was also linked to the ITF.
He said that the National Skill Development programme had produced thousands of youths who were now employers of labour.