FG demands applicants’ NINs for trade grants

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Onwubuke Melvin

The Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment has asked applicants for the Presidential Conditional Grant Scheme to provide their national identification numbers as part of the relevant requirements needed in order to qualify for a grant which will be used to mitigate the impact of recent Economic Reforms on businesses in the country.

The government had announced that three categories of funding amounting to 200 billion Nigerian Naira would be disbursed through the Bank of Industry to support manufacturers and enterprises throughout the country.

It said the new regulation, which requires Nigerians to link their national identification numbers with bank accounts, was adopted on the basis of a new Nigerian Central Bank Regulation.

The trade minister, Doris Aniete issued the new directive in a post on her official X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday.

The post titled, “Update on the Presidential Conditional Grant Programme Application Process” explained that all applicants will receive an SMS from ‘FGGRANTLOAN’ with instructions to submit this information via a secure link adding that this step is essential for the continuation of the application process.

It further stated that the notification shall only be received by confirmed applicants and NINs must correspond to an applicant’s name in order for a procedure to proceed.

It read, “Dear Esteemed Applicants, The Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment thanks all applicants for their interest in the Presidential Conditional Grant Programme and assures that applications are being thoroughly processed.

“Due to new regulations from the Central Bank of Nigeria, it is now required for applicants to link their National Identification Numbers with their bank accounts. We currently do not have a record of the NINs of those who applied. Therefore all applicants will receive an SMS from ‘FGGRANTLOAN’ with instructions to submit this information via a secure link. This step is essential for the continuation of the application process.

“Only verified applicants will receive this notification, and NINs must match the applicant’s name for the process to proceed.

“We appreciate your patience and cooperation, and we will keep you updated on your application’s progress. Thank you for your participation and contribution to national growth.”

This will further delay the disbursement of the grant announced by President Bola Tinubu in a nationwide address in August 2023 for manufacturers and small businesses.

In his address, the President declared that he was committed to boosting the production sector, increasing its capacity and create paying jobs, according to The Punch.

He said, “We are going to spend N75bn between July 2023 and March 2024. Our objective is to fund 75 enterprises with great potential to kick-start sustainable economic growth, accelerate structural transformation, and improve productivity.

“Each of the 75 manufacturing enterprises will be able to access N1bn credit at 9 per cent per annum with a maximum of 60 months repayment for long-term loans and 12 months for working capital.”

Yet, despite several promises made by the Minister over eight months ago, this programme is still not making significant progress.

The President of the Association of Small Business Owners, Femi Egbesola, accused the supervising agency of the slow pace of data collation and alleged that there was a deliberate attempt to deter legitimate businesses from accessing the loans.

He said, “Well, I don’t know why it has not been disbursed. Immediately after the announcement was made by the president at the national address about four months ago, we were all excited thinking succor had come somehow, somewhere. We were extremely hopeful but at the moment we have been disenfranchised because we have waited and there is no hope.

“We expected that even if the money has not been disbursed, communication should have been made to stakeholders, letting us know reasons why it hasn’t been disbursed, the current state and progress made, and the expected date to commence.”

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