Data from the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) have shown that over 300,000 micro-, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from various sectors of the economy accessed the special fund set up by government to cushion businesses against the impact of COVID-19.
The data further revealed that 40,000 applicants who qualified were not able to receive their monies due to some irregularities.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ engagement on the state of disbursement for the GHȼ750million Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAP BuSS) launched in May last year, the Executive Director of the NBSSI, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, said a number of hitches were to blame for some of the people’s inability to receive the funds.
“At a point we sent funds to 200,000 applicants through mobile money, but funds belonging to 40,000 applicants were returned to us. They did not go through because some of the applicants used wrong information on their account details. We also detected that others used wrong tax identification numbers (TIN),” Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh said.
The engagement provided updates on the CAP BuSS for various trade associations on whose tickets the businesses applied for the fund. The associations engaged included the Makola Foundation, the Federation of Goldsmiths, the Ghana Association of Market Women, the Traders Advocacy Group, the Ghana Chamber of Entrepreneurs with Disability, Social Enterprise Ghana, the Ghana Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs and the Engine Business Network.
Another group of applicants have been approved to receive their share, but she said to date they have not made themselves available to access the support. As a result, Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh said, the NBSSI has directed that within two-weeks funds allocated to those applicants will be reallocated to others.
Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh said the NBSSI has been working with more than 150 trade associations under the CAP BuSS initiative.
According to her, most applicants received the stimulus package and yet had remained quiet, pretending that they haven’t benefitted so far.
“We have had classic examples of applicants who received and withdrew the money from their accounts, and yet are heard in the media space saying they have not received the funds. We also had instances of applicants who were due to receive their share but were not responding to their phones or emails to be directed on how to access the fund,” she said.
Touching on lists presented by the associations, the Executive Director said the NBSSI had paid 340 applicants of the 555 who were sponsored by the Ghana Association of Market Women. She said three are pending payment, 79 did not complete their application process, 28 provided wrong codes and 88 failed the name score.
She added that the NBSSI also detected that 11 of the applicants were part of those who had used fictitious data, documents and personal details to apply, for which reason their applications were being reviewed.
The Traders Advocacy Ghana sponsored 1,840 applicants, out of which 1,548 had received funding, Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh said.