Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has described progress recorded in the first three days of the registration of applicants for the N60 billion survival fund as massive and impressive.
The federal government has launched a N2.3 trillion economic sustainability and growth plan to stimulate an economy hard hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic, with the vice president reiterating the commitment of the Buhari administration to ensure effective implementation of all the schemes.
During a virtual interactive session with the Africa Report magazine which focused on Nigeria’s post pandemic recovery plan, also referred to as ‘Bouncing Back, the vice president said the response by Nigerians to the recently launched survival fund has been massive.
He assured that government remains committed to an effective implementation of the scheme.
More and more potential beneficiaries have been heading online to access the fund whose registration commenced on Monday, he added.
“A couple of days ago, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, launched the Survival Fund. The Fund includes a payroll support for about 500, 000 beneficiaries and the plan is to take qualifying businesses who have a minimum of 10 employees and pay salaries of those staff for three months.
“The portal was opened about three days ago and there has been massive response to it. Payroll support is one important way that we intend to support small scale businesses.
“We are also giving artisans and transporters grants to support their businesses and it will cover about 333, 000 of such artisans and transporters,” Osinbajo said.
He added that “there is also a free business name registration that we are doing for 250, 000 persons who wish to register their businesses.
“We are looking at 1.3 million beneficiaries under the Survival Fund and under the artisans and transporters grants. Then we have a Guaranteed Off-take Scheme. Under this programme, basically, if you manufacture certain items and food products, we will buy them from you.
“Our target is about 300, 000 of such producers of foods. Both schemes will benefit about 1.7 million individuals and small businesses.”
The vice president said measures are being put in place to ensure that the target beneficiaries are impacted positively.
“We are trying to get everything going. The financing is not the immediate problem, the important thing is organizing the beneficiaries and ensuring that the support gets to them. It is more the nitty-gritty of ensuring that this money gets to those for whom it is meant,” he said.
he economic sustainability plan will save existing jobs and revamp businesses by improving the purchasing power of Nigerians through the various initiatives in industry, agriculture, mass housing and the solar connectivity projects, the vice president said.
The virtual dialogue was monitored by over 1, 200 persons across the world.