N37bn expended on Survival Fund Scheme ― Presidency

The Federal Government has so far expended a total of N37 billion on the Survival Fund Scheme, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed. 

The money, he informed, was spent on schemes such as N50,000 Payroll Support for three months to over 300,000 beneficiaries, one-time grants of N30,000 to about 100,000 artisans, and 100,000 business name registrations paid for by the Federal Government.

A statement by the vice president’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, on Monday explained that the Survival Fund Scheme is a unit under the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, aimed at cushioning and harsh effects of the outbreak of COVID-19 on Nigerians.

According to the statement, ministers and heads of agencies had been reporting further progress in the implementation of the ESP as  Osinbajo presided over a meeting of the Economic Sustainability Committee on Monday at the presidential villa in Abuja.

While the Minister of State for Industry, Trade & Investment Ambassador Mariam Katagum reported the progress of the Survival Fund to the Committee, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele also reported on the bank’s intervention including disbursement of over N192B for household/MSMEs grants to 426,000 beneficiaries across the country, with plans to do over N100B more in that category named Targeted Credit Facility.

The CBN Governor also disclosed that under the collateral-free Agric-Business/Small & Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme, there are ongoing grants of concessionary loans from between N150,000 to N2.5million. 

In that category, the Governor disclosed that over N106B has been disbursed so far to over 27,000 beneficiaries. 

In the Agric sector, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Alhaji Sabo Nanono also reported that under the ESP, a total of 5.4million farmers have now been enumerated to get the support under the plan. 

He added that for the enumeration which involved geospatial tagging, almost 73,000 N-Power volunteers were trained and 30,000 of them deployed to 774 Local Government Areas. 

For the purposes of funding through the CBN, the Minister disclosed that 2.9million of the farmers have had their BVN enrollment validated. 

Also, the clearing of 3,200 hectares of land for farming is ongoing in several States including Edo, Plateau, Ekiti, Cross River, Ogun, Kaduna, Kwara, and Osun States while rural road constructions have reached about 28% completion covering 344km, linking about 500 markets across the country.

The Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami also briefed the Committee that broadband penetration in the country has moved from 38 per cent last year to 45 per cent now, while over 170 institutions have been registered to conduct the NIN. 

He also said Telcos would be licensed for the enrollment, while over 1060 registration centres have been activated across the country for the NIN. He reports that a total of 56.18million NINs have been collected by mobile network operators.

In his presentation, Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity Minister, Dr Chris Ngige, listed the Federal Government’s efforts to prevent the retrenchment of staff in the Private Sector because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

He named some hotel companies that agreed not to retrench and it was also disclosed that bankers have all committed not to retrench staff at this time.

Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola on his part, reported on the ministry’s coordinated federal government Public Works Programme, while the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo reported on the progress of the Special Public Works that hires 774,000 workers across all Local Government Areas of the country.


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