330,000 artisans, transporters to get N30,000 each under new scheme

The Federal Government will assist 330,000 artisans and transporters under its Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund.

The government launched the scheme recently as part of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), packaged to cushion the adverse effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the citizens.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice-President, Mr. Laolu Akande, said beneficiaries of the scheme in different parts of the country will get one-time payment of N30,000 each.

“The launch of the Transport track, last Monday, followed the successful take-off of the Artisans’ Support track on October 1. While the Artisans track is under the Survival Fund, the Transport track is a different scheme also under the fund.

“While verified artisans have started receiving the N30,000 one-time grants, Nigerians operating in the transport business – including Rideshare drivers (Uber, Bolt, etc), taxi drivers, bus drivers, Keke NAPEP riders, Okada riders, cart pushers, among others, now have the opportunity to benefit from the scheme.

“The Artisan track is being implemented in three streams, and as of November 25, a total number of 59,000 individual Artisan beneficiaries have been paid across 24 states in Stream 1 and Stream 2 States.

“They include the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos, Ekiti, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, Plateau, Delta, Taraba, Adamawa, Bayelsa, Edo, Ogun, Ondo, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Enugu and Ebonyi.

“While the verification process for artisans under Stream 3 states commenced on Monday, November 30, Stream 3 states comprise Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Zamfara, Yobe, Sokoto, Nasarawa, Niger, Imo, Oyo, Osun, Jigawa, Gombe and Benue.

“Under this Artisan Support scheme, a total of 333,000 artisans and transport business operators nationwide will get one-time operations grant of N30,000 per beneficiary to reduce the effects of income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“There will be a total of 9,009 beneficiaries per state for both Artisan and Transport beneficiaries. Of this number per state, there will be a total of 4,505 beneficiaries under the Transport scheme, while the remaining 4,504 will be Artisan beneficiaries.

“For the Transport track, Nigerians are encouraged to apply through their registered associations to be enumerated, such as the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Keke Riders’ Association, Okada Riders’ Associations and unions, among others.”

“All schemes are applied to beneficiaries on a first come first serve basis.

“State focal persons, project field officers, enumerators and others will work alongside the MSMEs Survival Fund Project Delivery Office to properly identify and ensure that members of the respective associations are paid.

“There is also provision for individuals who are members of associations but will rather apply directly with the enumerators. However, such individual applicants in the transport cluster must show their proof of membership of an association to be enumerated.

“Like all the schemes of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to support different categories of Nigerians, these schemes are absolutely free, and the grant will be paid directly to every beneficiary’s account.

“Nigerians are encouraged to speak up, if anyone tries to charge a fee or subvert this arrangement.

“In the implementation of the Transport track the Federal Government is working with representatives of Keke NAPEP and Okada riders; Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN); representatives of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW); Uber and Bolt drivers, among others,” the statement said.

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