Over one million Nigerians benefitted from survival fund, say Presidency

The Presidency on Sunday said over one million Nigerians have so far benefitted from the Survival Fund scheme under the regime’s Economic Sustainability Plan.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘N200bn facility for social housing ready as ESP Payroll Support, Artisan, Transport Tracks and Free Business Names Beneficiaries Now Over One Million.’

The ESP was approved by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) on June 24, 2020, as a N2.3 trillion stimulus plan to tackle the socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians.

The statement read in part, “Over one million Nigerians have so far benefitted from the Survival Fund scheme under the Buhari administration’s Economic Sustainability Plan, with about 500,000 Nigerians beneficiaries from the MSMEs Payroll support track, 44,500 beneficiaries under the one-off General MSME Grant, and another 265,425 under the artisan support track.

“It would be recalled that payment to new beneficiaries of the Payroll Support track and the one-time General MSME Grant had commenced at the end of April.

“So far, under the ESP there are now over one million beneficiaries nationwide from the various schemes.”

As regards the Payroll Support track, Akande said there are so far 459,307 successful beneficiaries. Under the scheme, beneficiaries receive payment of the N30,000 or N50,000 grant per month for three months.

About 44,500 successful beneficiaries have so far received payment for the one-off grant of N50,000 each.

He added the total number of beneficiaries of the General MSME Grant is expected to increase in the coming weeks as the Steering Committee has approved payment to an additional 40,114 successful new beneficiaries.

Also, the Vice President said the over 200,000 businesses have been registered for free.

“202,494 businesses have so far benefitted under the ESP Survival Fund formalization support track, which is aimed at registering 250,000 new businesses for free with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

“The formalisation support scheme had commenced on the 26th of October, 2020, with the registration by aggregators (CAC registration agents) across the 36 states and the FCT.

“The MSME Survival Fund, a component under the ESP is designed to support vulnerable Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in the MSMEs sector.”

So far, he said, the scheme has saved at least 1.3 million jobs across the country and had a specific impact on over 35,000 individuals per state.

Similarly, Akande announced that the National Social Housing Programme under the ESP has received a further boost.

“Following the finalisation of the agreement with the Central Bank of Nigeria, on the N200 billion facility, the drawdown, with a guarantee from the Ministry of Finance is now commencing to fund the housing project.

“The fund, which would be released in tranches, is expected to cover the NSHP project execution cost of the houses that would be constructed under the social housing project.

“Under the Social Housing Programme, the Federal Government plans to support 1.5 million Nigerians to acquire low-cost houses through mortgage options and also Rent to Own option.”

He added that the scheme will generate 1.8 million jobs and deliver houses to about 1.5 million Nigerian families.

In the power sector, Akande said the administration has recorded considerable progress especially on the ESP Solar Naija programme designed to provide electricity access to 5 million households, serving about 25 million Nigerians in rural areas and under-served urban communities nationwide.

He said, “One of the local solar power companies implementing aspects of the ESP Solar Power Naija scheme, A-SOLAR, which will deliver 100,000 units across the country in the first phase of the project, received some boost, with the completion of the disbursement of funds from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“The A-SOLAR transaction, which involves a guaranty from Niger Delta Power Holding Company, has been completed.

“The disbursement from Sterling Bank to A-SOLAR is expected to be in tranches. The first tranche has been disbursed and the Letter of Credit for the importation of the first set of 30,000 systems is being finalized.

“Upon completion, about 30,000 solar systems are expected to be deployed to Kano, Edo, Delta, Kwara, Katsina and Cross River states, as part of the 100,000 units under the A-SOLAR arrangement.”

He also stated that the Development Finance Department of the CBN is finalising the Approval of N20B to finance the downstream component of the programme to fund mini-grid and solar home system companies.

He said, “Once the approval comes through, three companies will get direct disbursement from the CBN to commence their deployment.”

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