DG Dr. Dikko Umar Radda

153 thousand commercial transport operators across the country are to benefit from the federal government’s Survival Fund incentive aimed at absorbing the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on their businesses.

The Director-General of the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN, Dr. Dikko Umar Radda disclosed this in Katsina at a program to sensitize commercial transport operators on the take-off of the new phase of the scheme.

He explained that “we are here to sensitize the leadership of commercial transport operators band the leadership of their unions such as the National Association of Road Transport Workers on how to apply for the Survival Fund incentive.

“The Essense is to minimize the effect of Covid-19 which was was worst felt during the period of the lockdown”, Radda said.

He explained that the Survival Fund initiative which is being funded by with N75 billion was projected to save 1.3 million jobs in the MSMEs sector while also boosting productivity in the sector.

Dr. Radda described the MSMEs Survival Fund as a form of stimulus package aimed at preventing job losses in the MSMEs sector which provides employment for over 40 million Nigerians.

He noted that the transport sector phase of the disbursement will save thousands of jobs in the commercial transport sector by assisting taxi drivers, Keke Napep and motorcycle operators, Uber drivers, cart pushers, and tanker and lorry drivers.

The SMEDAN boss explained that 4,500 commercial transport operators were selected from each state to benefit from the incentive.

In his remarks, the Director-General of Katsina State Investment Promotion Agency, KIPA, Alhaji Ibrahim Tukur Jikamshi said by injecting funds into small and medium scale enterprises, the MSMEs Survival Fund will neutralize the effect of Covid-19 on small businesses.

He explained that “once you inject money into micro, small and medium scale enterprises and educate the enterpreneurs on ways to access business financing, you have effectively enhanced their capacity to grow their businesses and employ more people.

“At KIPA, we have organised basic enterpreneurship trainings for our small scale business owners on how to formalize their businesses by registering it with relevant government agencies”, Jikamshi said.

He noted that the Katsina State government, through the agency has sensitized small and medium scale business owners and commercial transport operators on how to formalize their businesses and apply for the loan.

Isma’il Adamu, Katsina