By Emmanuel Antswen
Makurdi, Nov. 16, 2020 The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) says over 30,000 persons will benefit from the ongoing National Survival Fund Program (NSFP) in Benue.
The NSFP Manager in the state, Mr Oryima Alu, who is also the Point of Contact, National MSME Survival Fund in the state, disclosed this on Monday in Makurdi during a town hall meeting with leaders of artisans and transport scheme operators.
Alu said that over 30,000 people would benefit from the various components of the Survival Fund Program.
Giving the breakdown, he said a total of 13,000 would benefit from the payroll support for MSMEs, 5,000 from general MSME grants, 6,606 from formalization support while 9,000 from artisans/transport grants.
Alu said the allocations for the state across the various components were inadequate following the large number of people in each category but he said there was a possibility of expanding the program
He said the town hall meeting was meant to educate the people on the benefits of the program, explaining that the entire program was free.
Alu said the component dealt directly with grants that would go to artisans and transport cadres, most of whom were members of associations that were not aware of the benefits of the program.
He said each of the artisans and transport support beneficiaries would earn N30,000 for three months.
“The essence of this meeting is to sensitize relevant stakeholders that have roles to play in creating awareness about Federal Government programs for MSMEs
“The concern of government is to provide critical and timely support that can improve conditions of living for every Nigerian, most especially, following the lockdown necessitated by COVID-19,” Alu said.
Earlier, the Principal Special Senior Assistant to the governor on MSMES, Mr Emmanuel Donghdongh assured that the Survival Fund Program would not be hijacked in the state.
Donghdongh explained that the program was aimed at supporting small scale businesses to improve their lot.
He said though the support was small, it must get across all the target groups adding that all registration and processing of the entire program were free.
Speaking to Newsmen, a participant, Mr Ahmed Musa, State Secretary, Nigeria Automobile Technician Association said over 1,000 of his members would apply for the scheme.
Musa said the funds would help them to procure tools and he commended the Federal Government for remembering the poor in the country.