Processes in accessing GHc1 billion stimulus package frustrating-Association

Chairman of the Used Clothing Dealers Association, Kantamanto Branch, Evans Ofori has described the processes in accessing the stimulus package as cumbersome.

Speaking to Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, he said although they have registered to access the package, they have been advised them to contract a third party to fill their forms for them.

According to him, the majority of are unlettered but the government has not put in any measures to help them go through the process of application.

He suggested to the government to allow commercial banks to manage the process and assist the unlettered to go through the application process.

He wants authorities to review the processes so beneficiaries would not be frustrated in accessing the scheme.

Meanwhile, he has commended the government for the scheme.

The scheme he noted will help businesses survive in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

President o Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 19th May, 2020, launched the GH¢1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme, which is being provided by Government and selected participating banks to micro, small and medium-scale businesses around the country.

Out of the 1.2 billion cedis earmarked for this Programme, GH¢600 million will be disbursed as soft loans to MSMEs, with up to a one-year moratorium and a two-year repayment period. The rate of interest on government’s six hundred million cedi (GH¢600 million) facility is three percent (3%). 

Additionally, selected participating banks will provide negotiated counterpart funding to the tune of GH¢400 million, making, in all, GH¢1 billion for disbursement under this Business Support Scheme, with the entire scheme set to attract some 180,000 beneficiaries across the country.

With the funds under the Scheme to be managed by NBSSI, and to be supervised by a loans committee, composed of one representative each of the Ministries of Finance and Trade and Industry, a representative of the NBSSI, and a representative of the participating banks, the well-known audit firm, KPMG, will act as technical advisors to the Scheme. 

“Disbursement of the funds will be effected through the participating banks. Transparency and accountability will be the hallmarks of the operation of the Scheme,” he added. 

President Akufo-Addo indicated that the Scheme is targeted at MSMEs in the formal and informal sectors, which have been affected by the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, with MSMEs in growth sectors that require additional capital to expand their business to meet growing demand for COVID-19 related goods and services, also eligible to apply. 

The beneficiary sectors include agri and agro-businesses; manufacturing; water and sanitation; tourism and hospitality; education; food and beverages; technology; transportation; commerce and trade; healthcare and pharmaceuticals; and textiles and garments.

In order to ensure a smooth application process for all eligible candidates, application forms have been made available online on the website of NBSSI, which is  www.nbssi.gov.gh. It is also available via USSD code across all mobile networks, and applicants can also call the CAP Business Call Centre on 0302 477 777, or visit the nearest NBSSI Business Advisory Centre for assistance with their applications. 

By: Rashid Obodai Provencal

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