Reporter : AMECHI ODO

The Federal Government is to disburse #4.9 billion to the beneficiaries of its transport sector track of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund scheme to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on some Nigerians.

At the launch in Abakaliki, Nigeria Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo represented by a member of Presidential steering committee for the programme, Chief Ubadigbo Okonkwo called on the beneficiaries to invest the money wisely.

The beneficiaries were some selected barrow and truck pushers, Mechanics, Tricycle operators, Tipper Drivers, Commercial Motorcycle operators, Taxi and commercial bus drivers.

Chief Ubadigbo Okonkwo explained that the Survival fund was being implemented in the thirty six states of the federation and the Federal capital territory Abuja while four thousand, five hundred beneficiaries would be selected in each state.

He said the beneficiaries would be paid thirty thousand Naira each with the hope that the Federal Government may expand the programme considering its impact on the informal sector of the economy.

The Commissioner for Human Capital Development in Ebonyi State, Mrs. Ann Aligwe noted that the programme was people oriented and called on the Federal Government to increase the number of the beneficiaries in the state.

She stated that many youths were in dire need of economic emancipation and called for the procurement of Tricycles, vehicles and motorcycles for free distribution to the people.

Some of the beneficiaries, including the Chairman of Okada Union in the state, Mr. Paulinus Akam and a truck driver, Mr. Collins Aliede, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for the kind gesture, noting that the money when received would help in the development of their trade.

Radio Nigeria gathered that the programme was launched simultaneously in Ebonyi State for the South East zone, Abuja for North Central, Katsina for North West and Lagos for South West zone.