TRUE! FG is providing COVID-19 funds for MSMEs in Nigeria

CLAIM: Federal Government is supporting self-employed persons and MSMEs across Nigeria with COVID-19 funds.

VERDICT: TRUE! The Federal Government is supporting self-employed persons and MSMEs across Nigeria with COVID-19 funds

FULL TEXT: A viral post of WhatsApp claimed that the Federal Government is provided self-employed Nigerians and Macro, Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises with funds to augment the hardship occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This claim, which was circulated on WhatsApp, also appeared on Facebook, Twitter and news blogs herehere and here.

A version of the message reads thus: “The MSME Survival Fund has been launched this morning. It’s a 75 billion Naira Fund to support self-employed persons and MSMEs across Nigeria.

“Part of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan stimulus program. Check here for more information. https://survivalfund.ng.

VERIFICATION: Checks by Tribune Online showed that the post intends to lead Nigerians to this website. A check on the website showed that the website, though not carrying the .gov domain, is from the Federal Government.

Checks on the mainstream media space revealed that the FG, through the Ministry of State for Industry, Trade and Investment launched a N75 billion survival funds to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the 36 states in the country. This was reported by Tribune Online, ThisDay and others.

msmes
A screenshot of the WhatsApp post

WHAT IS THIS FUND FOR?

The N75bn fund and the guaranteed off-take stimulus schemes, according to the supervising minister, Amb. Mariam Katagum, are under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) to stimulate direct local production in the 36 states and the FCT by enabling MSME’s in the production sector to stimulate ‘post COVID lockdown’ off-take products.

The fund is also meant to “augment the payroll obligations of businesses in the Health, production, Education, Hospitality and Food production sectors. Provide 50,000 Naira grants each to an additional eligible 100,000 MSMEs and save over one million, seven hundred thousand (1,700,000) jobs,” Katagum said.

Katagum added that the fund provides payroll support for 500,000 individual beneficiaries, target MSMEs beneficiaries (hospitality industry, private schools, factory owners, law firms, hospitals etc.), general N50,000 MSME grants to 100,000 MSMEs.

She noted that the government will register 250,000 new businesses with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) at no cost to the MSMEs ad the FG will pay CAC N6,000 for each registration.

Registration for the Fund commenced on September 21, 2020 while the second phase of the application will commence on October 1, 2020.

CONCLUSION: Though the website which does not carry the .gov domain is from the Federal Government. Also,

In spite of this, you should beware of fake websites on disbursement and provision of COVID-19 funds purported to be (BUT NOT) authorized by the government, its agencies and prominent individuals. Scammers have devised means to make these opportunities look real in order to rip you off your hard-earned money. Examples abound herehereherehere and here.

•  This report, under the Information Saves Lives project, was done with support from Internews. Have you come across any suspicious COVID-19 claim or working COVID-19-focused solution, submit for verification using this submission form.

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