According to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Federal Government, through the National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), is set to implement a number of schemes to keep Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) afloat. The Survival Fund is one of the schemes designed to relieve MSMEs from the effect of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Survival Fund includes payroll support for three months, along with a guaranteed off-take scheme among others; courtesy of the Economic Sustainability Plan recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Executive Council.
The plan allocates an overall N2.3 trillion stimulus package, with extensive provision for financial support to MSMEs. This support ranges from a guaranteed off-take scheme to a survival fund that includes a payroll support programme for qualifying businesses. The guaranteed take-off scheme will support MSMEs, which are manufacturing local products by guaranteeing the purchase from them of qualifying products such as face masks, hand sanitisers, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for medical workers among others. These products will be evenly distributed to Nigerians, Nigerian institutions and entities that would require them.
The survival fund will help provide payroll support to MSMEs with a minimum of 10 and maximum of 50 staff. The MSMEs that qualify will make available their payroll for verification by government. After meeting necessary requirements, companies will then be eligible to have the salaries of their verified staff paid directly from the fund for a period of three months.
According to the vice president, the target beneficiaries of this scheme will include private schools, hotels, road transport workers, creative industries and others. He also warned that the verification process would be very rigorous and painstaking. Furthermore, N200 billion would be made available to MSMEs in the priority sectors such as healthcare, agro processing, creative industries, local oil and gas, aviation among others.