… warns defaulters would be blacklisted from future support
The Executive Director of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) now Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA), Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, is confident of high repayment of soft loans disbursed to businesses who received support from the NBSSI as part of the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAP-BuSS).
Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh, in an interview with the B&FT, assured Ghanaians that systems have been put in place to ensure the servicing of disbursed loans. According to her, the data collected from the applicants can be used to easily fish them out. “Enough data has been collected and the NBSSI is in the capacity to track all monies disbursed,” she said.
According to her, the system used for the programme was designed to evaluate the turnover of every business and grant a loan that sits within their financial strength so the NBSSI is confident about repayment.
She disclosed that persons who would default with no tangible reason would be barred from any financial support from the NBSSI in future as their data would be reflagged if they apply again. “It is important to pay back because when we have subsequent interventions, we would go and check who paid and who didn’t. We will use our data to ensure that people do not take undue advantage of the state. We need to support each other and grow together,” Mrs. Yankey-Ayehin said.
According to the 2021 budget statement, already, more than 650,000 jobs in the micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) space have been protected by the special fund setup by the government to cushion small businesses from the effect of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The jobs were protected through the disbursement of some GH¢502.5 million to about 289,047 small businesses that applied to benefit from the GH¢750 million Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAP-BuSS). The beneficiaries have since invested the fund in their respective businesses to help them get back on their feet.
She noted that the use of technology throughout the whole process has had a great impact on the MSMEs as many of them were not ready to go on that tangent. All the over 800,000 people who applied for the loans had to go get their Tax Identification Numbers (TIN), a move that greatly escalated the Ghana Revenue TIN figures.
Also, all applicants needed to show their business registration numbers, this meant that many businesses went to the Registrar General’s Department to formalize their operations.
“These are all things that the nation was struggling to get people to do but we drafted a system that demanded all these, so the applicants were forced to begin moves at properly formalizing their operations. With this, we know everyone and no one can run away from paying because you can be located,” Mrs. Yankey Ayeh said.
Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Executive Director of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) now Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA)