By Babajide Okeowo
Cart pushers, Okada riders, rideshare drivers, such as Uber, Bolt, and others as well as taxi drivers, bus drivers, Keke NAPEP riders are set to benefit from the N4.95 billion fund set aside for 165,000 transporters under the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund.
While launching the Transport Track of the Survival Fund in Abuja recently, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Yalwaji Katagum disclosed that the federal government would give N30, 000 each to qualified individuals operating in the transport sector.
The minister, who was represented by the Ministry’s Director of Industrial Development Department, Mr. Adewale Bakare, said the beneficiaries would include rideshare drivers, such as Uber, Bolt, and others as well as taxi drivers, bus drivers, Keke NAPEP riders, Okada riders, cart pushers and so on.
The Special Assistant to the Vice President on MSMEs, Mr. Tola Johnson said 4,505 beneficiaries would be selected per state.
He said the application, though not online, would be free, adding that N10bn has been disbursed to beneficiaries directly from the MSME Survival Fund.
In Lagos, President, Ladies on Wheel Association of Nigeria (LOWAN), Mrs. Anyagwa Tolani, said this is the first time her association would partake in a federal government support scheme as 150 women members will benefit.
National President, Professional E-Hailing Drivers and Private Owners Association, an affiliate of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, Mr. Shonuga Oluwaseun, while commending the gesture disclosed that the association currently have about 50 thousand members and lamented that the funds would not be enough to go round.
“We have over 50 thousand E-Hailing Drivers with over 20 thousand active. 4,000 to 5000 to benefit from each state. It would not go round but it is quite commendable” he said.