Businesses which will apply for the soft loans made available by government due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic will do so via a technology portal, the Executive Director of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has said.
Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, however, indicated that provision will be made for those without immediate access to technology so that they are not left out.
She said a massive sensitisation programme will be embarked upon in the coming weeks to “have more people know about it”.
Madam Yankey-Ayeh made this known on Thursday, May 7 while addressing journalists at the Ministry of Information’s bi-weekly update on the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana.
In a televised broadcast on Sunday, April 5, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced a GH¢600 million stimulus package as part of measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on businesses.
A moratorium will be put on the loan for the first year while applicants will be given a minimum of two years to pay back, the president hinted.
He said government would roll out the scheme “in collaboration with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Business & Trade Associations and selected Commercial and Rural Banks”.
The Executive Director of NBSSI said currently the portal is undergoing “stress-testing” in order to make sure it can contain pressure in case there are more applicants visiting at a time.
She assured that the Board will be as transparent as possible in order to have the deserving businesses access the soft loans.
The informal businesses constitute about 70 per cent of the country’s economy.
Already, the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) has cautioned the Board to carry out the process in a “fair, transparent and equitable manner, devoid of partisan politics”.
GUTA added: “We would also entreat whoever happens to benefit from the package to endeavour to use the money for the purpose it is intended so as to be able to pay back as may be arranged and agreed by the authorities.”