The Federal Government has inaugurated an intervention grant for micro transport operators under its Survival Fund for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to overcome challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.
Amb. Mariam Katagum, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, said in Abuja on Monday at the inauguration of the scheme known as ‘Transport Track’, that it was part of the Artisans and Transport Scheme.
Katagum, who is also the Chairperson, Programme Steering Committee, said the MSMEs Survival Fund and Guaranteed Offtake Schemes had five different tracks approved under the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) of the Federal Government.
The minister who was represented by Mr Adewale Bakare, Director, Industrial Development Department in the ministry, said the Transport Track targeted 4,505 beneficiaries in each state across the country
“This track, which is being launched today will give a one-off grant of N30, 000 each to qualified individuals operating in the transport sector.
“These include: Ride share drivers, such as Uber, Bolt, etc., taxi drivers, bus drivers, ‘keke Napep’ riders, okada riders, cart pushers et cetera.
“Under the Transport Track, being launched today, applicants are encouraged to apply through their registered associations to be enumerated.
“Individuals who are members of associations but choose not to apply through their association can be enumerated but this ‘independent’ applicant will need proof of membership to be enumerated.
“On this note, I urge Ride share drivers (Uber, Bolt, et cetera.) taxi drivers, bus drivers, Keke Napep riders, commercial motorcycle riders, cart pushers among others to take advantage of this scheme,” she said.
The minister said applicants would access the fund at no cost since the initiative was borne out of the Federal Government’s commitment to help cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
She, therefore, urged leaders of transport associations to mobilise their members to apply for the grant.
Katagum lauded MSMEs’ performances across the country and urged them to take full advantage of the scheme by applying for any category that suited their needs.
She said that although many Nigerians applied for the grant, there was need for improved awareness creation for MSMEs, especially those in the grassroots to key into it.
“It is absolutely free, do not pay anyone to benefit, your money is N30,000 and it will go directly into your bank accounts.
“Let me emphasise that the government-approved all the schemes as grants, and as such, all applicants should not pay money to influence anything because no one can influence anything,” she said.
The minister explained that for an individual to be eligible, such a person must be a Nigerian, have a verifiable BVN, a transporter in the transport sector, belong to a transport association and get enumerated.
“To qualify for enumeration, all intending beneficiaries are expected to apply through their (registered) associations.
“Individuals may walk up to our enumerators without routing through their association, but such an individual must have a valid proof of membership of the association he/she claims to belong to,” she added.
Government functionaries and leaders of various transport operators’ associations were present at the event.