The Federal Government submits that it will accept some States’ plea for an extension
of the payroll support system’s registration time to allow some States to fulfill their quota.
This is because, by the end of October, the government
plans to pay over 400,000 workers of already shortlisted firms.
This was disclosed to the Nigerian News Agency in Abuja on Monday by the
Special Assistant to the President of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Mr Tola Johnson.
He said that after the portal was closed on Oct.
15, some states have submitted an extension appeal to them.
Johnson, who is also the Project Planner, said he is
considering the Survival Fund Steering Committee’s appeal for a recommendation.
According to him, only the Steering Committee, headed by Hajiya Mariam Katagun, the Minister
of State for Trade and Investment in Industry, has the power to approve the extension.
“The Project Delivery Office (PDO) which I head, is taking that plea to the Steering Committee, headed by the Minister, to see if the committee will use data and determine either to extend or not to extend.
“The decision to extend or not will be data-based, it will be looking at what we have, the states that have applied, the states that were successful, the states that were not successful and why we need to extend or not.
“The number of states that have met their quota are slightly below 20, so there is a strong cry for extension and in my own opinion it is valid, but the decision lies in the hands of the steering committee.
“As the project coordinator, I have to convince them based on data analysis and we believe that we will get feedback on that shortly,” he said.
He said that more than 400,000 firms, of which
about 70,000 were shortlisted, had applied for Payroll Assistance.
Johnson said that those who met the stipulated requirements were the shortlisted undertakings, adding that
many undertakings that did not meet the criteria went on to apply when registration started.
He said that over 400,000 workers were applied to the approximately
70,000 companies shortlisted to be compensated by the government under the scheme.
“As at the day the portal closed we had about 432,000 businesses that had applied, however, we have short listed less than 70,000 businesses that qualify and meet the requirements.
“When we say payroll support all forms of businesses went to apply, even businesses that do not meet the requirements went to apply.
“We had requirements like you must have this number of staffs, but nobody cared everybody just went first to apply before looking at the requirements.
“The number of businesses that meet those requirements are slightly below 70,000 and those businesses uploaded about 400,000 staffs that they want us to pay for three months,” he said.
The Presidential Assistant indicated that by the end of October,
the Federal Government was preparing to start paying the shortlisted workers.
He said that the government needed to shift to the
next step of the implementation of the Survival Fund quickly.
Giving insight into the program, he said that the survival fund was launched by the Federal Government
to ensure that companies do not die and that companies do not start laying off their employees.
He claimed that the fund primarily targeted micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, with the
payroll support scheme targeting between 3 and 10 employees of enterprises meeting the requirement.
“The payroll support is targeted at businesses that employ 10 to 50 people and we now pay 10 of those people from among the 50 employees.
“We pay them between 30,000 and 50,000 naira but the minimum we pay is 3 staffs for three months to support their businesses and to ensure that we are helping businesses to augment their salaries.
“The Federal Government cannot possibly pay every worker or businesses but we can chip in something to lessen the headache of those business so that is what we use the payroll for,” he said
He noted that the PDO was also beginning to introduce the Support Scheme for Artisans,
which he said was intended to make a one-off payment of N30,000 to those who qualify.
He indicated that the scheme had been amended to be enforced in batches of 12 states to
allow the PDO to track its implementation, adding that it would recognize only artisans belonging to associations.
In order to ensure accountability, he claimed that payments for all the schemes would be
made directly to the recipients using the BVN to ensure that no multiple recipients existed.
He said the PDO was also in collaboration with the media and
other stakeholders to provide scheme updates and ensure that the process is open.
He called for participation and registration by women and those with special needs throughout
the country in order to fill the quota set aside by the Federal Government.