FG plans grants for business owners after PUNCH report

The Federal Government is set to start the disbursement of N150 billion in grants and loans to business owners and manufacturers in the country.

This is aimed at alleviating the impact of the fuel subsidy removal.

A press statement signed by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, said the two programmes are the Presidential Conditional Grant and the Presidential Palliative Loan.

This announcement follows a Sunday PUNCH report on mounting concerns over a purported delay in the disbursement of the N275bn palliative loan promised to manufacturers and Micro, Small, and Medium-sized enterprises in the country.

In the report, it was reported that the fears were due to a lack of communications from supervising agencies on the status of the programme, a development that fuelled concerns that the programme might have been cornered by politicians and their cronies in government.

But in a statement on Sunday, the trade minister said N50,000.00 will be disbursed to nano businesses across the 774 local government areas.

The statement read, “In the Presidential Conditional Grant Programme, the Federal Government will disburse a grant sum of N50,000.00 to nano businesses across the 774 local government areas in the country.

“The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria will collaborate with State and Local Governments, Federal Legislators, Federal Ministers, Banks and other Stakeholders.”

She also stated that eligible beneficiaries, after fulfilling the necessary procedures, can get more information and apply at the website dedicated to the programme.

“The eligible nano business beneficiaries should be willing to provide proof of residential/business address in their local government area, and provide relevant personal and bank account information, including Bank Verification Number, BVN, for verification of identity,” she added.

Also, the Presidential Palliative Loan Programme said, “The Federal Government will likewise disburse N75 billion to Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, MSMEs, across various sectors and N75 billion specifically to Manufacturers.

“The loan shall be administered to the beneficiaries at a single-digit interest rate of nine per cent per annum.

“While MSMEs can access loan facilities up to N1 million with a repayment period of three years, manufacturers can access up to N1 billion to access financing for working capital with a repayment period of one year for working capital or five years for the purchase of machinery and equipment.

“MSMEs and manufacturers can apply for the loans by submitting their application on the portal provided for the programme.

“The facility would be accessed through their banks, and applicants would be required to meet the risk assessment criteria of their respective banks.”