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Submit NINs For Trade Grants- FG Tells Applicants

NIN

The Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment has directed applicants of the Presidential Conditional Grant Scheme to submit their National Identification Numbers as part of the necessary requirements to obtain a grant earmarked to cushion the effect that recent economic reforms have had on businesses in the country.

The government through the Bank of Industry had said it would be disbursing three categories of funding totalling N200bn to support manufacturers and businesses across the country.

It said the new rule was based on the new regulations from the Central Bank of Nigeria directing Nigerians to link their National Identification Numbers with their bank accounts.

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 added that only verified applicants will receive this notification, and NINs must match the applicant’s name for the process 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 latest development marks another delay in disbursing the grant announced by President Bola Tinubu in a nationwide address in August 2023 for manufacturers and small businesses.

In the address, the president said he was determined to strengthen the manufacturing sector, increase its capacity to expand, and create good-paying jobs.

“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,” Tinubu said.

But eight months later, the programme domiciled under the Trade Ministry and executed by the Bank of Industry is yet to reach a significant stage despite several promises by the minister.

In December last year, prospective beneficiaries who spoke to The PUNCH said they were in the dark about the reasons the funds had yet to be disbursed.

The President of the Association of Small Business Owners, Femi Egbesola, decried the slow pace data collation by the supervising agencies, alleging that genuine businesses were being deliberately discouraged from accessing the loans.

He said, “Well, I don’t know why it has not been disbursed. Immediately 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.”