…Says N200bn facility for social housing ready
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
THE Presidency yesterday said that over one million Nigerians have so far benefitted from the Survival Fund scheme under the Federal Government’s Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP).
The Presidency said there are 500,000 beneficiaries from the MSMEs Payroll support track, 44,500 under the one-off General MSME Grant, and another 265,425 under the artisan support track, among others.
Recall that payment to new beneficiaries of the Payroll Support track and the one-time General MSME Grant had commenced at the end of April.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande, in Abuja last night explained that so far, under the ESP there are currently over one million beneficiaries nationwide from the various schemes.
He said, for the Payroll Support track, there are so far 459,307 successful beneficiaries. Under the scheme, beneficiaries receive payment of the N30,000 or N50,000 grant per month for a period of three months.
Also read: Fashola highlights potentials, contribution of building/construction sector to national economy
Similarly, for the General MSME Grants, the Spokesman said about 44,500 successful beneficiaries have received payment for the one-off grant of N50,000 each.
The total number of beneficiaries of the General MSME Grant will increase in the coming weeks as the Steering Committee has approved payment to an additional 40,114 successful new beneficiaries.
He further stated that 202,494 businesses have so far benefitted under the ESP Survival Fund formalization support track, which is aimed at registering 250,000 new businesses for free with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
The formalization support scheme had commenced on the 26th of October, 2020, with the registration by aggregators – CAC registration agents – across the 36 states and the FCT.
The MSME Survival Fund, a component under the ESP is designed to support vulnerable Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in the MSMEs sector. The scheme is estimated to save not less than 1.3 million jobs across the country and specifically impact over 35,000 individuals per state.
He said the National Social Housing Programme (NSHP) under the ESP has received a further boost.
According to him, “Following the finalization of the agreement with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on the N200 billion facility, the drawdown, with a guarantee from the Ministry of Finance is now commencing to fund the housing project.
” The fund, which would be released in tranches, is expected to cover the NSHP project execution cost of the houses that would be constructed under the social housing project.
” Under the Social Housing Programme, the Federal Government plans to support 1.5 million Nigerians to acquire low-cost houses through mortgage options and also Rent to Own option. The scheme is expected to also generate 1.8 million jobs and deliver houses to about 1.5 million Nigerian families.
“Also, the ESP Solar Naija programme, which is designed to provide electricity access to 5 million households, serving about 25 million Nigerians in rural areas and under-served urban communities nationwide, has recorded some progress.
” One of the local solar power companies implementing aspects of the ESP Solar Power Naija scheme, A-SOLAR, which will deliver 100,000 units across the country in the first phase of the project, received some boost, with the completion of the disbursement of funds from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“The A-SOLAR transaction, which involves a guaranty from Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), has been completed. The disbursement from Sterling Bank to A-SOLAR is expected to be in tranches. The first tranche has been disbursed and the Letter of Credit for the importation of the first set of 30,000 systems is being finalized.
“Upon completion, about 30,000 solar systems are expected to be deployed to Kano, Edo, Delta, Kwara, Katsina and Cross River states, as part of the 100,000 units under the A-SOLAR arrangement.
” In the same vein, The Development Finance department of the CBN is finalising the Approval of N20B to finance the downstream component of the programme to fund mini-grid and solar home system companies. Once the approval comes through, three companies will get direct disbursement from the CBN to commence their deployment.
“It would be recalled that the Vice President flagged off the Solar Power Naija programme in Jangefe Community in Roni Local Government Area (Kazaure Emirate) of Jigawa state in April, with the launch of 1,000 Solar Home Systems connections for the community’s about 5,000 population. The commencement of the installation in Jigawa is part of a 100,000 scheme with A-SOLAR. “
The ESP was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 24, 2020, as an N2.3 trillion stimulus plan to tackle the socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians. The Plan was developed by the Economic Sustainability Committee chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, who the President also asked to lead its implementation.