The Federal Government on Monday emphasised its commitment to mitigating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of ordinary citizens through its various intervention initiatives.
Mr Kayode Pitan, Chairman, Bank of Industry (BoI) spoke at the inauguration of the transport sector track of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund in Lagos.
Pitan said that the scheme entailed the disbursement of funds targeted at 4500 transporters in each state of the nation.
According to him, the transport track of the fund is available to every transporter that drives buses, taxis, tricycles, motorcycles or any other kind of transport business.
“This fund is for people whose transport businesses were affected by the pandemic and the federal government would be disbursing N30,000 grant to 330,000 self employed people in the country.
“We will be working with the unions and we are also using this medium to encourage their members to apply for the fund as it would be on first come, first serve basis,” he said.
The BoI chairman said that to qualify for the fund, transporters must be Nigerians with a verifiable Bank Verification Number (BVN), self employed and must be registered with a transport association.
Also, Mrs Tolani Anyagwa, President, Ladies on Wheel Association of Nigeria (LOWAN), commended the federal government for the support scheme, saying it would help cushion the effect that the pandemic had on the transport sector.
She said that this was the first time the association would partake in a federal government support scheme.
Anyagwa said about 150 LOWAN women would benefit from the scheme.
“I am very sure that this would attract more women to join our association because we have more than a thousand women that are not yet registered,” she said.
In his remarks, Mr Olwaseun Shonuga, National President, Professional E-Hailing Drivers and Private Owners Association (PEPDA), also lauded the initiative by the Federal Government.
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Shonuga appealed for inclusion of more members of the the association in the scheme, about 70 per cent of of whom he said were university graduates.
“Statistically, we have over 50 thousand E-Hailing Drivers with over 20 thousand active.
“Between four thousand and five thousand transport workers are to, from each state, benefit.
“It would not go round, but it is quite commendable.
“Many keyed into it due to unemployment and government is trying by catering to them by augumenting with all these social benefits.
“We would still apply for more, but we commend them,” he said.