The Federal Government says it is determined to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of the citizens through its various intervention initiatives.
The Chairman, Bank of Industry (BoI), Mr Kayode Pitan, gave the assurance in Lagos on Monday at the inauguration of the transport sector track of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund.
Pitan said that the scheme entailed the disbursement of funds targeted at 4,500 transporters in each state of the federation.
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), adding that they must be self-employed and registered members of transport associations.
Speaking, 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 of the pandemic on the transport sector.
She said that this was the first time her association would partake in a Federal Government’s support scheme, adding about 150 LOWAN members 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 Oluwaseun Shonuga, National President, Professional E-Hailing Drivers and Private Owners Association (PEPDA), also lauded the initiative of the Federal Government.
He, nonetheless, called for the inclusion of more members of the association in the scheme, adding that about 70 per cent of the members 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 from each state are to benefit.
“It would not go round, but it is quite commendable.
“We will still apply for more, but we commend the government,” Shonuga said.