Globally, businesses are still struggling to shake off the huge negetive impact on their revenue caused by the corona virus pandemic, due to the prolonged shut down of business activity as a mitigating strategy in containing the spread of the virus. Small and Medium enterprises are the most adversely affected sector, as there is hardly any cash reserve for these categories of businesses to fall back to as they rely on regular inflow of cash to take care of the running expenses and the continuous existence of the business.
Knowing the important role of the small and medium enterprise in the economic development and sustainability in any nation, governments around the world have created intervention programs to help these categories of business cushion the effect of the pandemic on their cash flow and keep them in business. The US government lead the way with the 2 trillion dollar corona virus stimulus package, while other government other government mapped out huge funds to remedy the effect of the pandemic on her citizens and businesses.
The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) was not left far behind in that regards as it has a N2.3 trillion stimulus package of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan, core of which is the N75 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund and Support Initiatives, which includes the N60 billion MSMEs Survival Fund and the N15 billion Guaranteed Offtake Schemes that took effect from September 21, 2020.
This disclosure was made in an official statement by the Federal Government through a series of tweet posts on its official Twitter handle.
Here is the statement from FGN, “As the portal for the registration of prospective beneficiaries of Survival Fund opens, interested Nigerians in the Payroll Support Scheme are to note that the site will be open from 10 pm Monday, September 21, 2020.”
The statement further stated that the registration for the payroll support will start with the educational institutions at 10 pm Monday, September 21, 2020, and will be followed by businesses in the hospitality industry by 12am Friday, September 25, 2020.
The portal will also open for other categories of small businesses from 12am, Monday, September 28, 2020. It should be noted that the scheduling of the registration for prospective beneficiaries is to ensure that the process is seamless and hitch-free. The registration of every sector is to continue until Thursday, October 15, 2020.
As is always the case, the announcement was greeted with sceptisism from many especially business owners, as their is a general lack of faith in governement administered intervention due to the corrupt tendecies of the nigerian politicians and civil servants who always tend to hijack the process and deny it of the required transperency, fairness and equity it needs to succeed, but as noticed from N-power program and other intervention scheme by this government, there is a significant improvment in the level of transperency and fairness applied by this goverment in executing intervention program and this will not be different as it still follows the same proceedure of use of a digital portal for the application, selection and disbursement of the funds. The official portal that has been created for this scheme is https://survivalfund.gov.ng, eligible applicant are expected to log on to the portal to complete their registration.
This article is to serve as a step-by-step guide to help you ascertain your eligibility, apply and benefit from the program. We advice you read through thoroughly and share with families and friends who you also want them to benefit from the initiative.
Structure and Duration of the initiative
The 75 billion naira survival fund initiative of the federal governement is structured into four different sub programs targeted to help about 1.7million entites and the individual in various ways. The four sub-programs includes:
(a) Payroll Support
This is targeted to reach out to 500,000 small business with employees and are having difficulty of mmeting up with cash flow demeand for payroll, the goverment will take care of their salary payment for not more than 10 staff.
(b) Formalization Support
Through this sub program, the government plans to provide free business name registration for 250,000 businesses across the country
(c) Artisan/Transport Support
This will provide a one off grant of thirty thousand naira (30,000) to about 333,000 artisans or transport business owners to help them cushion the effect of the pandemic on their business
(d) The Guaranteed offtake scheme
The guaranteed offtake scheme is a one off 50,000 naira grant that is targeted towards 100,000 businesses or self employed individuals
The planned duration for this initiative is three months and registration is already ongoing on the portal mentioned above https://survivalfund.gov.ng
Eligibility and Registration requirements
To be eligible for this initiative, an individual must be self employed or have a business that provides employment for others, Potential beneficiaries are advised to log on to https://survivalfund.gov.ng to complete their registration.
As part of the registration process, the beneficiaries are expected to provide personal registration details, activate their account, register their organization after they have successfully activated their account.
Registration requirements includes, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Number, Bank Verification Number (BVN), SMEDAN Number, a Tax ID (optional) and the organization’s bank account details.
Completing the Payroll Support Registration, beneficiaries’ first name, last name, email, mobile number and Password will be required. Also, their Date of Birth, residential address and residential Local Government Area will also be provided.
The MSMEs Survival Fund initiative is introduced by the FG as part of the efforts to support businesses overcome challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, as a conditional grant to support vulnerable micro and small enterprises in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in the MSMEs sector. The scheme is expected to save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country and specifically impact on over 35,000 individuals per state with 45% for female business participation and 5% for special needs participation
The Guaranteed Off Take Stimulus Scheme is expected to perfect and sustain the income of vulnerable micro and small enterprises from the economic disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic through the implementation of various initiatives aimed at boosting the production capacities of small businesses as well as the provision of grants.