NBSSI too political to handle GHS600m stimulus – Ken Thompson

The National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI) which has been tasked with the mandate of distributing the GHS600million stimulus package among small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) as part of efforts to ease the COVID-19 burden on businesses, is too political to handle this assignment, Mr Ken Thompson, CEO of Dalex Finance, has said.

He suggested that the money should rather be given to financial institutions to handle and not the NBSSI.

Addressing the nation on the progress that had been made in the fight against the pandemic on Sunday, April 5, 2020, President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the “government, in collaboration with the NBSSI, business and trade associations and selected commercial and rural banks, will roll out a soft loan scheme up to a total of GH¢600 million, which will have a one-year moratorium and two-year repayment period for micro, small and medium businesses”.

He told local television channel TV3 Monday May 11 that: “It suffers from the legacy of politics, it suffers from money going out and not being able to account because it was done on political basis.

“Why are we not working with the associations of non-bank financials? I have a problem with that.”

Meanwhile, about 200,000 businesses have been projected by the NBSSI to benefit from the disbursement of the GH¢600 million soft loan scheme announced by the President for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in view of the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on them.

The Executive Director of the NBSSI, Mrs Kosi Yankey Ayeh, who made this known, said with people losing their jobs through reduction of staff strength by businesses as a result of the negative impact of the COVID-19, the board was also working hard to support businesses, including those which had come out with innovations.

“Figures from the Statistical Service reveal that micro enterprises constitute about 80 per cent of the MSME sector; small businesses constitute 15 per cent, and medium enterprises one per cent. So the COVID-19 Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme is expected to reach over 200,000 MSMEs in total.

“We have done it in such a way that it is representative of the entire sector,” she said at the regular Ministry of Information press briefing on Ghana’s COVID-19 situation.

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