By Mohammed Munirat Nasir (Zamfara State Correspondent)

About 9,000 Artisans have been earmarked to benefit from the Federal Government Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Survival Fund Programme in Zamfara State.

The Survival Fund is aimed at providing them Conditional Grants to Support the artisans and meet the payroll obligations and Safeguard Jobs in Small Scale Businesses in order to cushion the effects of COVID-19 Pandemic across 14 Local Government Areas of the state.

This was disclosed by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Area Manager Gusau Branch, Malam Musa Umar Babaji, at a Town Hall Meeting organized by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in partnership with Industrial Training Fund Gusau Area Office Saturday.

Babaji said, under the scheme, a total of 330,000 registered associations and groups across the country will benefit from the scheme.

"The MSMEs survival fund scheme is a conditional grant to support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in the sector to cushion effects of the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.

He explained that each of the beneficiaries will be given N30,000 for him to develop his small scale business and improve his economic development, stressing that the grant is not a loan but free of charge.

Babaji added that already the Federal Government had earmarked the sum of N60 and N15 Billion, Guaranteed Offtake for the MSME Survival Fund Scheme which according to him will be granted for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises respectively.

He advised the associations who are willing to apply for the scheme in Zamfara State, to go and register their associations with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for easy access to the scheme in the ongoing online registration.

He said the ITF in the state will work assiduously to ensure every association benefit from the programme.

In an interview at the end of the Town Hall Meeting, one of Participant and the Chairman, Zamfara State Cattle Dealers Association, Comrade Aminu Garba Gusau commended the Federal Government for the scheme.

He said if adequately implemented, the programme will improve the living standard of the fewer income earners for them to become self-reliant. NNL.