The government of Nigeria has announced its plan to give drivers of commercial buses and taxis, operators of tricycles (Keke) and motorcycles, cart pushers, as well as Uber and bolt drivers in the country a grant of N30,000 ($79) to ease the impact of COVID-19.
The grant was announced by the Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, on yesterday.
The grant for the transport players is part of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan to create at least 1.3 million jobs across the country. The NESP is expected to impact 35,000 lives per state across the federation.
What difference does it make?
Essentially, the grant is not substantial enough to see to it that these MSMEs survive. Although the government says the grant is for their business survival, it is unclear how this class of people are to survive with the sum beyond using it to either buy fuel, more carts or offset debt on tricycles.
An average driver in Lagos makes trips worth about N30,000 daily using a combination of cab-hailing apps, which makes the grant a relatively low sum for this class.
How to Apply
To apply for the grant, the drivers, riders and cart pushers are to go through their registered Associations. Recognised associations include the Keke Riders’ Association, Okada Riders’ Associations and Unions and Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
Similarly, e-hailing drivers have long been bunched with ride-hailing drivers like Uber and Bolt under the National Union of Professional E-hailing Driver Partners (NUPEDP) although the drivers formed National Union of Professional App-based Workers (NUPABW) for ride-hailing drivers alone.
It is not clear yet which association the funds will be disbursed through for the ride-hailing drivers.
However, for those who do not want to apply through the associations, membership cards or other proof will be required of them when they apply.
- Apply through the transport association that you belong to. You will be enumerated there.
- If you want to apply without going through the association, you will need to provide proof of membership to the officials in charge.
- The application will be attended to on a first come first serve basis
- Application is free.
- Upon approval, the grant will be paid directly into your account.
- The funds will be paid directly into the applicant’s account.
Suggested Read: How to Apply for N3.3 billion COVID-19 Victims Support Fund
There is no known portal for applying, but in a blog, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said that project field officers, enumerators, State focal persons and others will work alongside the MSMEs Survival Fund Project Delivery Office.
They will “properly identify and ensure that members of the respective associations are paid” on a first come first serve basis.
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