Imo Govt Urges Artisans, Business Owners To Access FG MSME Fund

Imo Govt Urges Artisans, Business Owners To Access FG MSME Fund

The Imo Government has advised artisans, transporters and other business owners in the state to key into the Federal Government’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund to empower and grow their businesses.

The Special Adviser to the Imo State Governor on Bureau for the Coordination of Donor/Development Partners Fund, Mrs Amaka Njoku, gave the advice in Owerri yesterday at a town hall meeting organised for artisans and transporters in the state.

The meeting was tagged “MSME Survival Fund: Artisan and Transport Support Scheme Town Hall Meeting,”

Njoku expressed regret that in spite of continous sensitisation by her office, artisans and business men in the state had refused to access the fund and urged them to take advantage of the laudable project.

She described the fund as a COVID-19 Survival Initiative under the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry Payroll Support.

“Imo State has been lagging behind when it comes to accessing funds from the Federal Government. In order to benefit from the MSME Survival Fund, the Imo Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma, appointed a focal person in my honour.

“I, therefore, call on Imo Artisans, business owners, companies to remove doubt, fears and biases and come and register with the office because there are a lot of advantages.

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“Artisans should not be afraid to release their BVN. This is a good venture from the Federal Government to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic,” Njoku said.

The Minster of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Mariam Katagum, said the town hall meeting was to interact with and engage the artisans and transporters in Imo on the various schemes the Federal Government designed to

alleviate the effect of the lock down occasioned by COVID-19.

Katagum, who was represented by Mr Ubadigbo Okonkwo, a member, Board of Trustees, Nigeran Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), called on artisans to ensure they benefited from the fund.

“The survival fund is a conditional grant of 30,000, “grant not loan”, to 333,000 Nigerians. For Imo State that is about 9000 beneficiaries of which 45 per cent of them should be women. So they will benefit by a grant of N30,000 each,” Katagum said.

The Desk Officer, Imo State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Survival Fund, Kenechukwu Igwesi, commended the artisans and transporters for attending the meeting.

He said the project delivery office of the Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (NSME) had been working with the state government to ensure the fund reached every artisan and business person in the state.

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Igwesi said the MSME survival fund project of the Federal Government was meant to give palliatives to artisans and transporters affected by the lock down of COVID-19 pandemic to cushion its effect.

Earlier, the Chairman of MSMEN Imo State, Dr Charles Agbaegbu thanked the Federal Government for putting in place programmes to cussion the effect of COVID-19 on artisans and drivers.

He adviced Imo artisans and drivers to cue into the programme which would enable them assess fund to assist their respective businesses.

Dr Agbaegbu appealed to the State Government to increase its effort in mobilizing Imo people on the process of assessing these funds and assist them where necessary.

He said his association is ready to partner with government in assisting the artisans and drivers in the state.

…CCA

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