The Federal Government has announced a plan to support over 500,000 employees with a N30,000 one-off grant, noting that the initiative is to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on the business community.
The fund being disbursed by the Bank of Industry (BoI), has seen over 311,000 employees benefit.
Speaking at the payroll support activation ceremony in Lagos, the Senior Associate, Bank of Industry, Emmanuel Musa, explained that the 311,000 beneficiaries represent about 65 per cent of the target, maintaining that the survival fund is a five-component programme.
“The target is 500,000 employees and we still have some numbers to make up across the federation. The 311,000 employees that have benefited from the fund represent about 65 per cent target. The survival fund is a five-component programme, which the payroll support fund is one aspect of it,” he said.
According to him, “We can say that we have achieved sustainable success because our target is 500,000, and we are currently giving this salary grant for three months to 311,000 across the 36 states in the country and we believe we have made remarkable success in terms of achievements.”
He noted plans are also on-going to provide added benefits such as training and capacity building programmes
“The portal is currently open for registration, and there are other schemes such as the guaranteed off-take scheme, business name registration. And based on the feedback that we have been getting from the beneficiary engagement events, the project delivery team is looking into ways that we can provide some added-on benefits even if it is not cash to support businesses going forward,” he said.
A beneficiary in the manufacturing sector, Nwodo Uchechukwu, said during the pandemic, many companies could not pay staff salaries, adding that the fund came in as succor during the yuletide.
“Our staff came back from the Christmas break very happy because the company put efforts to register for the survival fund,” he said.
Describing the application process, she said applying for the fund was seamless as long as applicants provide the necessary documents and meet the requirements.
A school principal, Mr. Nicholas Emi-Johnson, expressed gratitude to the federal government for the survival fund established to cushion the effects of the pandemic.