By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta
Ogun State Government has organized campaign to ensure that eligible entrepreneurs benefit maximally from the five streams of the N75 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Survival Fund.
Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment and State Focal Person for the Fund, Mrs. Kikelomo Longe
met with leaders of Artisan Associations in the State to intensify the campaign.
Addressing leaders of Artisan groups registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), at a sensitisation town hall meeting in Abeokuta, the Commissioner said that government was determined to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on businesses in the State.
Mrs. Longe called on MSMEs in the State to avail themselves the opportunity of benefiting from all the streams of the Fund which include Payroll Support, Artisan/Transport Grant, Formalisation Support, Guaranteed Offtake Support and General MSMEs Grant.
She said the State is yet to fully utilise all its allocation for the Payroll Support, calling on businesses that have CAC registration and meet other requirements to take advantage of the support when the Federal Government re-opens the portal for those who missed out on the Payroll Support stream initially.
Longe added that the formalisation stream is currently inviting informal businesses in the State to avail themselves the opportunity, as 250,000 MSMEs would be registered for free by the Commission, stressing that they would be able to bid for government contracts in the State.
She also stated that the Artisan/Transportation Grant stream of the Survival Fund, which is a one-off payment to artisans who must be members of the associations registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission is another stream available for them to benefit from.
“The Survival Fund is real and based on a fair process, which does not require any form of payment. Stakeholders can make further inquiries about the intervention at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Block B, State Secretariat, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta or the Industrial Training Fund Office, Abeokuta”, the Commissioner said.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Deputy Director/Area Manager, Industrial Training Fund who is the State Point of Contact for the Fund, Mrs. Funmi Coker said the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration introduced the fund to assist small businesses in the State, calling on MSMEs to ensure they do not miss out on the fund.
Speaking on behalf of other participants at the programme, Mr. Abayomi Olusanmi lauded the efforts of Federal and State governments for the intervention, assuring that, with the information made available, artisans would be encouraged to register and benefit from the fund.