Nano Businesses Await FG’s N50 Billion Grant

Some very small businesses haven’t got money from a big amount set aside by the government. Three groups say their members haven’t got help from the special fund.

Nano businesses are small businesses with one or two workers and make less than N3 million every year, says SMEDAN.

The money started going out in March and it’s for one million nano businesses in the 774 areas in Nigeria.

It’s part of a big N200 billion fund to help businesses in tough times.

Femi Egbesola, head of the Small Business Owners group, says none of their 27,000 members got money yet.

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“We heard they’re giving out money. Our members filled a form online with their bank details,” Egbesola said.

He thinks giving only N50,000 to small businesses isn’t enough.

“Instead of giving money, the govt should find better ways to help businesses,” Egbesola said.

Savior Iche, from the Micro Entrepreneurs group, says none of their members got any money.

“They talk about giving money, but it’s just talk. None of our 800 members in Lagos got anything,” he said.

He says many businesses are closing because they can’t keep going.

“Most businesses are closed, and the others are struggling,” he said.

Gertrude Aikhimien, from the Small-Scale Industrialists group in Lagos, says they gave names of over a thousand members for the money but got none.

“We did what they asked, but no one got the money,” she said.

She says their group is big with over 25,000 members all over Nigeria, and 5,000 in Lagos.

“Our leader is asking about the money, but no one knows where it is,” she said.

Seun Olagunju from the Bank of Industry says they’re collecting details from different business groups.

He says the money will go out by May 2024 after they check all the details.

Terfa Tilley-Gyado from the govt says they haven’t given out much of the money yet.

He says they’ll put the names of people getting money on a website later.

“The money is still coming. People should check the website for updates,” he said.

The govt is giving money to small businesses without needing it back. They can be in different fields like trading or ICT.

Doris Uzoka-Anite from the govt says they’re giving out money to small businesses now.

“We’ve given money to some small businesses already,” she said.

Abdulrasid Yarima from a business group says some members already got the money.

“Our members are getting it. Anyone who fills the online form can get it,” he said.

“You just need to give some details online, but some people worry about giving their details,” he said.

Yarima says most business groups have small businesses, which are 60% of all businesses in Nigeria.

“The money is good for some people, but not everyone. And it’s not a loan,” he said.

The govt’s changes, like removing fuel subsidies, have made life more expensive.

Olamide Adeyeye, a researcher, says it’s hard for small businesses to stay alive now.

“Small businesses need to make enough money to live. But with high prices, it’s hard to make enough,” he said.

Many small businesses are struggling because of COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine.

They have problems with power, loans, high prices, govt rules, money exchange, and taxes.

Most small businesses fail because of money problems, bad business, and hard times.

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