By Chijioke Okoronkwo
The Presidency says that small business operators are not required to undergo any form of training before accessing the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Survival Fund.
Mr Tola Johnson, Special Assistant to the President on Micro Small and Medium and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Office of the Vice President, made the clarification at the inauguration of the Transport Track of the fund on Monday in Abuja.
The Survival Fund Scheme for MSMEs is captured under the National Economic Sustainability Plan drafted by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led Economic Sustainability Committee and approved by President Muhammadu Buhari on July 1.
He said the programme was being run in a direct and transparent manner, adding that the beneficiaries could be reached for confirmation
“To state very clearly, for the MSMEs Survival Fund, we are not training anybody; we believe you are the owners of your businesses; you have been running them for years.
“What we are doing is just to support you; you are not required to do any training to qualify; what you need to do is to apply; it is on first come, first serve.
“There is no element of audio money in the scheme; the contacts of the beneficiaries are available to be contacted for confirmation.
“The Federal Government has started getting it right with schemes like this; what we need is more schemes that are traightforward. People are calling that this be replicated in every other government programmes; let the money go straight to the users,’’ he said.
Johnson said that the Transport Track would give a one-off N30,000 grant to self-employed transport workers.
According to him, the track targets self-employed individuals in the transport sector who include, but not limited to, Uber, Bolt, Taxi drivers, Keke Napep, Okada riders and cart-pushers.
Earlier, while performing the inauguration, Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, said that the Transport Track was part of the Artisans and Transport Scheme.
Katagum, who is also the Chairperson, Programme Steering Committee, said the MSMEs Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes had five different tracks approved under ESP.
The minister, represented by Mr Adewale Bakare, Director, Industrial Development Department in the ministry, said the Transport Track targeted 4,505 beneficiaries in each state of the federation. (NAN)