Some artisans in Kano have lauded the Federal Government for the successful implementation of the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund in Kano State.
A cross-section of the artisans gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on the sideline of the inauguration of the disbursement exercise on Friday in Kano.
The MSME Survival Fund is one of the Federal Government’s economic support measures designed to assist micro and small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Payroll Support Scheme is aimed at MSMEs adversely affected by the pandemic.
The scheme will provide payroll support to a maximum of 10 employees per qualifying MSME.
The scheme is being implemented through the Bank of Industry and other relevant agencies.
Mr Auwalu Danhajiya, Chairman, Kano State chapter of the National Association of Tailors, said that most of the tailors who registered under the scheme had received N30,000 grant from the federal government.
Danhajiya commended the gesture, saying it would assist members of the association to improve their capital base.
“The COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected the trade forcing many tailors out of business in the state.
“In the past few days, most of our members got credit alerts through their individual accounts under the Federal Government’s MSME Survival Fund.
“We have about 50,000 registered members and most of those captured under the scheme had received N30,000 from the government.
“Some of the beneficiaries have used the money to either repair their broken sewing machines, purchase working materials, settled debt or take care of their family needs.
“The gesture will enable us to resume work and encourage productivity,” he said.
In their separate remarks, Murtala Umar and Abubakar Dogo of the Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA) and Kano State Vulcanizer Association, respectively, commended the gesture.
Umar said a great number of NATA members received support under the scheme and urged the government to expand the scope of the fund to mobilise more participation in the programme.
Miss Aisha Bello, a tailor and one of the beneficiaries, said that she received N30,000 from the scheme to improve her trade.
“I lost my savings to the pandemic, I am happy now because the grant assisted me to continue with the trade,” she said.
Also speaking, Alhaji Idris Hassan, the Special Adviser to Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje on Automobile, said the state government in collaboration with the federal government had registered thousands of artisans under the scheme.
Hassan said the registration exercise was conducted in collaboration with various associations to ensure that genuine artisans benefited from the scheme.
“We are happy and we all know what happened during COVID-19, a lot of people have gone into bad condition.
“With the grant of N30,000 from the federal government, especially members of NATA, tailors, bricklayers and welders are all happy, they all benefited from the first batch of the scheme,” he said.
While commending the gesture, Hassan added that it would encourage the development of MSMEs as well as social and economic development of the state.
On his part, Dikko Umar, the Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), said the fund would revive small businesses affected by the pandemic in the country.
Umar, represented by Muhammad Madaki, Zonal Director of the agency in charge of Kano Zone, said the fund would assist the artisans to enhance their businesses.
He said the agency had initiated viable projects to fast-track growth of SMEs and urged the artisans to avail themselves the opportunities to key into its programmes for sustainable development.
“SMEDAN is a one-stop shop, it is there to guide and put artisans on the right track so that they can succeed in their businesses.
“They are micro in nature and we want to see them grow,” Umar said.
Also commenting, Anwosu Emeka, representative of the BOI, said the Survival Fund was initiated by the federal government to support businesses affected by the COViD-19 pandemic.
Emeka said the government was providing a grant to businesses that had suffered losses due to the pandemic.
“Businesses suffered due to COVID-19 lockdown, we are trying to support them so that they can go back to normal,” he said, adding that the scheme focused on artisans.
According to him, all eligible artisans are free to apply for the fund and urged artisans to enrol into the scheme to enable them to benefit.
Emeka added that disbursement were being done directly into individual accounts of the beneficiaries. (NAN)