A portal for accessing the GHC600 million soft loan facility meant to support small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) across the country will be launched for application processes to begin soon, the Executive Director of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, has said.
This is to ensure a coordinated, efficient, transparent and successful programme.
Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said businesses which will be interested in benefitting from the soft loans would have to apply through a technological portal, which is yet to be launched. She disclosed that independent consultants are currently running stress-test “to ensure that all implementation challenges are minimised and tested.”
In addition, the NBSSI boss said other small businesses who would not be privy to technological innovations have also been considered in designing the portal.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh allayed fears of discrimination in respect of who can access funds available through the soft loan scheme.
She explained the three main categories of businesses which will be targeted for support, adding that based on her outfit’s analysis the funds will be disbursed to fully represent the entire sector.
“Also, looking at the statistics of the micro, small and medium enterprises, there are three categories we’re looking at: the micro, which makes up about 80 per cent of the population, in terms of the sector; for the small, we have about 15 per cent; and the medium enterprises, we have about one per cent of the sector. So, the CAP Business Support Scheme is expected to reach over 200,000 MSMEs in total,” she said.
Locked up funds
Meanwhile, at the same event, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said legitimate claims made to depositors of savings & loans and micro credit institutions, whose funds were locked up due to the financial sector clean-up, stands at GHC5.06 billion.
According to him, GHC2.11 billion in cash has so far been paid to depositors, while about GHC2.95 billion in zero-rated coupon bonds, known as debt instruments, has also been paid.
The Information Minister said depositors are therefore expected to receive payments after validation of claims by the end of May, 2020.
“They want to conclude the final second level validation of GHC340 million and make payment accordingly. They expect that by the end of May they should be done with that one. There are some organisations whose books and records still have challenges, and they are processing those for some investigations. And finally, they will issue a report to the Bank of Ghana on the depositor payment,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah explained.