GH¢600 Million SME loan will be disbursed through financial institutions – NBSSI
Mrs. Esi Kosi Yankey - Executive Director, NBSSI
The Executive Director of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Kosi Yankey, has said financial institutions will be used in the disbursement of the 600 million cedis stimulus package allocated to support small and medium scale enterprises.
Following the negative impact of COVID-19 on businesses and individuals, the amount has been set aside by the government to mitigate the impact on small and medium scale enterprises. However, there were calls by some stakeholders, suggesting that financial institutions were in a better position to disburse and recover the monies than the NBSSI.
In reacting to these concerns, the Executive Director of the NBSSI clarified that financial institutions will be engaged in the disbursement process.
“I think that nobody ever said it wasn’t going through financial institutions. It is important for us to look at this holistically and realize that when you have a situation like this, we can’t look at individualistic views based on our interest. We need to look at it holistically. First of all, NBSSI is not disbursing directly; it is going through the financial institutions. So, the financial institutions are involved; it is important. We are working with the ARB APEX Bank because they also have rural banks across the nation. So the disbursement and the analysis of the loan process will be done by the financial institutions,” she said.
She further explained that the modalities for applying for the funds have been activated through an electronic portal that will assess the impact of COVID-19 on businesses.
“It is up to the businesses or the enterprises to highlight and show what it is, and how they have been impacted. I think its clear most people have been impacted, so, some based on their financials you can look at it in terms of even their bank statements. If you even juxtapose 6 months from when COVID began or in this period you will be able to tell that this business has been greatly impacted. So those are some of the things we would utilize,” she added.
Early on, the NBSSI said it has developed an online portal to enable small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) across the country to access the GH¢600 million stimulus package for businesses. According to Kosi Yankey, the portal was to ensure transparency and efficiency in the disbursement of the package to applicants.
How many businesses are likely to access this fund?
She also added that more than 200,000 businesses would be supported under the coronavirus stimulus package for SMEs; adding that the NBSSI was engaging traders and business owners to educate them on how the package could be accessed.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on April 5, 2020 announced the soft loan scheme of GH¢600 million for SMEs, meant to sustain the country's affected industries and also address the disruption in economic activities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.