The Federal Government has commenced the disbursement of the N20,000 special grant to women in rural areas of Gombe state.
This is according to a verified tweet by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, as seen by Nairametrics.
Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported the flag-off of the special grant project for rural women, initiated by the Federal Government, which will see over 700,000 women empowered with N20,000 each.
What they are saying
Commenting on the latest development, the verified tweet reads thus:
“MAKE GOOD USE OF THE CASH GRANT”– Umar Faroq tells Rural Women.
“The HM @FMHDSD @Sadiya_faroq has urged rural women in Gombe state to use the one-off cash grant given to them by the federal government to improve the lives of their families.”
MAKE GOOD USE OF THE CASH GRANT- Umar Farouq tells Rural Women.
The HM @FMHDSD @Sadiya_farouq has urged rural women in Gombe state to use the one-off cash grant given to them by the federal government to improve the lives of their families. https://t.co/W2y9x3mzyE pic.twitter.com/ZdGZ3fXhOy
— Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs (@FMHDSD) November 12, 2020
What you should know
The rural women’s programme was introduced in 2020 by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development as part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s social inclusion and poverty reduction agenda.
It includes the realization of the national aspiration of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
The Grant for Rural Women is designed to provide a one-off grant to some of the poorest and most vulnerable women in rural Nigeria.
Payroll Support Program: FG pays 101,567 beneficiaries first-month salary
The President announced thousands of beneficiaries received their first monthly payment from our Payroll Support Program.
President Muhammadu Buhari has announced that 101,567 beneficiaries, drawn from 16,253 businesses, received their first monthly payment from the Payroll Support Program yesterday.
This information was disclosed in a tweet by the official Twitter handle of the President.
I am pleased to announce that 101,567 beneficiaries drawn from 16,253 businesses today received their first monthly payment from our Payroll Support Program. The program is a @SurvivalFund_ng Covid-relief initiative to support qualifying MSMEs with staff salaries for 3 months.
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) November 18, 2020
The President also disclosed that the program is an initiative by the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure that Nigerian MSMEs survive, as the Federal Government supports qualifying MSMEs with staff salaries for 3 months.
Why this matters
The stimulus package would go a long way to assist businesses in averting massive job loss or a crash of the business enterprise. The fund is expected to place affected businesses, which are beneficiaries of this fund, on the path of survival and sustainable growth.
What you should know
In July, Nairametrics reported that the Federal Government had announced plans to roll out a N2.3 trillion stimulus package and survival fund for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to stay afloat amid the economic challenges imposed by the pandemic.
The stimulus package, which is under the National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), includes payroll support for three months and guaranteed off-take schemes, among others.
A month ago, Nairametrics reported that 70,000 businesses in Nigeria had been shortlisted from the 432,000 businesses that applied for the Payroll Support from the Federal Government’s Survival Fund Grant Scheme.
Development Bank of Nigeria disbursed over N150 billion in 3 years
52% of loans disbursed by Development Bank of Nigeria in 2019 were to youths and women-owned businesses.
Development Bank of Nigeria has disbursed over N150 billion since 2017 through twenty-seven (27) participating financial institutions, impacting close to 100,000 MSMEs through the process.
This is according to a disclosure by the Government of Nigeria, as seen by Nairametrics.
What you should know
A verified tweet by the Government revealed that in 2019, 52% of the loans disbursed by the Development Bank of Nigeria were to youths and women-owned businesses.
#DYK 52% of loans disbursed by @DevBankNG in 2019 were to youths and women-owned businesses. Since 2017, the Bank has disbursed more than N150 billion through 27 Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs), impacting close to 100,000 MSMEs: https://t.co/DD6bn1t8u2
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) November 17, 2020
What they are saying
The Government of Nigeria tweeted “#DYK 52% of loans disbursed by @DevBankNG in 2019 were to youths and women-owned businesses. Since 2017, the Bank has disbursed more than N150 billion through 27 Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs), impacting close to 100,000 MSMEs.”
Why it matters
The recent disclosure is in line with the present regime’s drive to diversify the economy and expand opportunities for youths and women, bridging the social exclusion gap, and ensuring prosperity for all.
The efforts by the Development Bank of Nigeria complements other social programmes introduced by the government and targeted towards Youths and Women, such as the Special Grant to Rural Women, Nigeria Youth Investment Fund, National Young Farmers Scheme, amongst others.
Poor state of roads, unfavourable policies hinder food production- So Fresh boss
Unfavourable policies like the purported Value Added Tax hike, Multiple taxes and lack of cheap credit are clogs in SMEs wheels.
The poor state of roads in Nigeria, unfavourable policies like the purported Value Added Tax hike, and lack of cheap credit have eaten deep into the fabric of Small and Medium Enterprises, especially ones that operate within the food segment.
This was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer, So Fresh Limited, Olagoke Balogun, in an exclusive interview with Nairametrics during the recent 10th anniversary of the food company.
According to him, timely access to fresh fruits and the right type, which is usually hampered by bad roads across Nigeria, has been a major challenge to production for the company over the years.
This is one of the reasons the company depends on raw materials imported from Cotonou, Benin, where it sources specific kinds of pineapples and green apples.
However, since the closure of the border, business hasn’t been the same, as suppliers continue to call to report unavailability of these fruits.
He said, “A lot of pineapples and coconuts consumed in Nigeria are imported from neighbouring countries. That alone is a challenge, as it increases the prices of our products. Sometimes you have those goods far away in Benue but getting them to Lagos is a big challenge. Also, challenges in logistics affect the fruits and vegetable market.”
On what he described as counter-productive policies by states and the federal government, the So Fresh co-founder explained that policies, multiple taxes, the rumoured VAT hike, and the cost of doing business have been sources of hindrance in SMEs production.
Unfortunately, he does not see that changing anytime soon. “These are still issues for us, but we have been able to cope more with it because the company has grown and we now understand our rights better, as we can challenge on somethings; we could not do that 10 years ago. We pay multiple taxes across parastatals, agencies, as everybody comes wanting to have a pie of what they think you have. it is almost an on-going battle for us.
“When we pay VAT, we are not able to charge our clients because a lot of our suppliers don’t issue VAT receipts and we end up paying the full value of VAT. It is Nigeria, we cope and learn through it, and we will continue to do the best we can,” Balogun said.
According to him, though So Fresh has continued to grow since its establishment in 2010, the company’s growth has slowed down in recent years because of the economic situation of the country.
He said that the economy was dragging the growth of the business, increasing the cost of production, and affecting the purchasing power of its customers.
“The most obvious one is the rising cost. If you look at the cost profile for the business over the last nine years, it has been on a steady increase.
“In fact, within the last two to three years, we’ve almost doubled some of the cost of raw materials of things we use. And when we had the forex crisis, the price of almost everything doubled. We are almost reliant on diesel because outlets have to be powered. There’s also less spending power. When prices continue to increase, people will prioritise their needs, so it will affect the purchasing power of the populace. That’s also a concern,” he told Nairametrics.
Meanwhile, Kehinde Olomojobi, a Board Member of So Fresh, disclosed that the company would be injecting about $10 million into its expansion project within Africa. “This is to continue to inspire Africa to embrace a healthy lifestyle and to be one of the top companies to work within Africa. We will start with Ghana and other parts of West Africa,” he said.
What you should know
As an indigenous company, So Fresh isn’t only promoting healthy living and food safety, the company prides itself in providing job opportunities and training for young Nigerians, thereby giving them a source of living.
The company currently has over 120 staff with over 1000 people who have passed through the system. In addition, he maintained that the company served over 200,000 customers across board, and in 2019, So Fresh served over 600,000 meals.
For the past 10 years, So Fresh has maintained the leading position as the number one healthy food restaurant chain, providing fresh, delicious, nutrient-rich healthy meals and inspiring Nigerians to have healthy lifestyles.
The company currently has outlets in Opebi, ikoyi, Lekki 1, Surulere, Yaba, MM2, Ogudu, Oniru all in Lagos, and Gwarinpa in Abuja.