The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) says that over 200,000 Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises will benefit from the government stimulus package announced a few months ago
Speaking at the Ministry of Information organized Covid-19 press briefing on Thursday, the Executive Director of the NBSSI, Kosi Yankey Ayeh, said her outfit will select the beneficiary companies from the three categories of the micro, small and medium enterprises in Ghana.
She explains that statistics on the SMEs sector of the country shows that 80 percent of the populations operate in the micro sector, 15 percent in the small-scale sector while one percent are in the medium enterprises.
In view of this, the NBSSI Executive Director says their analysis of the statistics indicated that about 200, 000 businesses will benefit from the stimulus package, “considering the fact that the micro businesses make up a huge chunk of the population”
“So, we’ve divided it up in a way that it is representative of the population of the entire sector”, the Madam Kosi Yankey Ayeh added.
On how businesses can apply for the stimulus package, the NBSSI Executive Director said they have created an online portal which will be launched soon for interested SMEs to login to submit their applications.
President Akuffo-Addo, on Sunday, April 5, 2020, announced a GH₵600 million stimulus package to support micro, small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) as “soft loans scheme”.
This, according to the President, was to be done in collaborations with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Business and Trade Associations as well as Rural and Commercial Banks.
The loan, he said, will however have a one-year moratorium and two-year repayment period.
However, some economists have urged government to be strategic in the disbursement of the money.
Experts advise to Gov’t
For instance, a Director at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Professor Peter Quartey, proposed that the criteria for selection should be based on the viability and sustainability of the business.
Similarly, the Chief Executive Officer of the Private Enterprise Federation, Nana Osei Bonsu, sayis that SMEs must be selected on the basis of their general impact on the economy and the communities they operate in relative to ability to create jobs and wealth in the country.
Again, an Economist, Dr Lord Mensah, has urged government not extend stimulus package to the hospitality and tourism sectors of the economy.
According to him even though those sectors are also important to the growth of the economy, injecting funds into them may not yield immediate results.
“There are some sectors that even if you give them the subsidies, they won’t get patronage as we speak now.
Ghana’s Covid-19 case counts
Ghana’s Covid-19 confirm case counts now stands at 3091, thus according to the last update by the Ghana Health Service, May 7, 2020.
Out of this number, however, 303 people have recovered from the virus with 18 deaths recorded, so far.
By Salifu B.B Moro