The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has lauded the government’s initiative of GHC600million soft loan scheme for small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
The Association, however, says it is yet to meet the government on the modalities that will be used to advance the scheme.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced the package on Sunday, April 7 2020, during his fifth nationwide address to Ghanaians on additional measures aimed at reducing the negative impact of the spread of the corona virus pandemic on businesses.
He stated that the government, in collaboration with the National Board for Small Scale Industries, business and trade associations and selected commercial and rural banks, will roll out a soft loan scheme, up to a total of GHC600million, which will have a one year moratorium and two-year repayment period for micro, small and medium-scale businesses.
The President noted that the scheme will sustain the country’s affected industries and address the distraction in economic activities caused by the pandemic.
The Chief Executive Officer of AGI, Seth Twum Akuboah, indicated, “I think that, definitely, the situation has affected businesses across board. Small, medium, large companies have all been affected in some way, because the lockdown for two weeks will definitely be a big challenge to businesses.”
He added: “I’m happy that the government has recognised that, indeed, businesses are going to be affected for which reason they are coming up with a package that would stimulate business development.
“So, we love the effort and we appreciate government’s support in this arrangement. But the details of the financing arrangement hasn’t come out yet, so for now all we will say is that it’s a good initiative. We will look into the details when it comes out before we can make an assessment of the extent to which it will help businesses. But in principle is a laudable idea and we welcome it.”