The FG has stated that applicants are not paying any facilitation fee to access its N75Bn intervention grant for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and also cautioned applicants against fraudsters. This was disclosed by Mrs. Mariam Katagum, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade, and Investment at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja. She said the Nigerian government through the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) has started the nationwide implementation of the MSME Survival Fund and the Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus Schemes.
The Minister said, “Applicants are to access the fund at no cost since the initiative is borne out of the Federal Government’s continued commitment to helping cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
“The Survival Fund will not at any time or for any reason request payment or facilitation fees to access the grants.”
She also warned the public to be cautious of scammers and report any suspicious individuals to the nearest security agents.
The Minister said, “All successful applicants received SMS and email verification with a list of requirements for the second stage of application which would commence on October 1, 2020. Applicants will be required to upload details supporting their application which will be verified and if successful, approved for disbursements.”
Katagum said many Nigerians have already applied for the grant but stated there was a need for further awareness for MSMEs, especially MSMEs at the grassroots.
She also encouraged MSMEs to take full advantage of the N75Bn scheme by applying for the category that suits their specific need.
She said some states and local governments are experiencing difficulty registering on the portal because of poor access to network connectivity and internet services. Katagum however said that state governments and trade associations are emplacing innovative methods to deal with the problem.
A total of 174,574 applicants applied for the grant within 48 hours of commencement of registration.