FG begins disbursement of N50b grants to small firms

The Government has started distributing N50 billion grants to small businesses. These grants are benefiting one million businesses across 774 local councils.

Beneficiaries of the N50,000 grants for nano business owners are receiving alerts. This was confirmed by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite.

Dr. Uzoka-Anite stated that 200,000 small business owners have already received the grants. She also mentioned that 800,000 more will get their grants before the program ends on May 31.

The goal is to have 1,000,000 beneficiaries across the 774 local government areas. According to Dr. Uzoka-Anite, around 3.6 million applications were received, and beneficiaries were selected randomly from those who met the conditions.

The Minister also said that N50 billion is available in the 2024 budget for the program. The grants were part of the palliative measures announced by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The measures were to cushion the impact of the petrol subsidy removal. President Tinubu highlighted the importance of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.

The President also announced that 75 manufacturing firms would receive N1 billion loans each. The loans come with single-digit interest rates to boost their businesses.

Dr. Uzoka-Anite explained that the application portal closed on April 17 due to overwhelming applications. The Bank of Industry is ensuring transparency in the disbursement using verification processes.

The bank is using NIN, BVN, and account details for verification. They are also conducting physical checks and taking photos of beneficiaries.

The program’s timeline ends in May 2024. The goal is to reach 1,290 beneficiaries per local government area, totaling one million people.

The minister acknowledged that some beneficiaries have received alerts while others have not. Verification of NIN became mandatory after the initial phase, which only required BVN.

The selection is random and without human intervention. For applicants who are verified, the disbursement will happen automatically.

The minister ruled out the possibility of giving grants to all 3.6 million applicants. The focus is to ensure that one million of them get the N50,000 grants.

The grants have been issued in all states, moving one local government at a time. The disbursement is based on verified applications.

The list of beneficiaries will be published for transparency. Applicants can check their status using their BVN and last name.

There are no plans for another grant. Any further aid will depend on the President’s discretion.

The Government has introduced various palliatives, including distributing grains. It has also provided cash disbursements to states for vulnerable Nigerians.

Federal workers have received wage awards of N35,000 for six months. Many states have also given wage awards to their workers.

The Government plans to introduce CNG-powered buses before the end of the month. This is part of their efforts to address the effects of the petrol subsidy withdrawal.

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