The GHS 1 Billion Coronavirus Alleviation Pro-gramme (CAP) Business Support Scheme launched by His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo on Tuesday, 19th May, 2020 is a life sav-er not just for the beneficiaries but for the nation as a whole.
This Programme is unprecedented in Ghana’s history, as it accounts for about 0.15% of GDP and 1.22% of the projected tax revenue for 2020 (Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning ); oxygen for a na-tion gasping for breath from a Coronavirus pandemic that has hit the world hard and brought global econo-mies to a standstill.
In Ghana, Micro, Small and Medi-um Enterprises (MSMEs) account for 92% of businesses and contrib-ute to about 70% of Gross Domes-tic Product (ISSER, University of Ghana, 2015). Undoubtedly, MS-MEs are the pulse of the Ghanaian economy. It is these businesses that keep the lights on in Ghana.
CAP BuSS offers the ‘Adom’ micro loans, the ‘Anidasuo’ soft loans, as well as a technical assistance sup-port component for MSMEs. The fund is a breath of fresh air and a resurgence of hope in an uncertain time. It is the panacea this nation so desperately needs to sail through these tumultuous times…. with an initial annual interest rate of five percent (5%), which a day after the launch of the Pro-gramme was reviewed downwards by President Nana Addo to three per cent (3%); a one-year moratorium and a repayment term of between 2-3 years.
It is fuel for the trucks that can no longer deliver goods; capital for the tomato seller who lost her earnings during lockdown; capital injection to meet payroll when revenue has ceased and salaries for 94,000-plus private school teachers who are out of a paycheck due to the shutdown of schools.
The hallmark of this fund is the level of thought that went into its design. The ownership and accountability component is evident by the nominal interest rate to preserve the dignity and independence of all and to al-low Ghana to dream again. Maa Akos the cloth trader will have no reservations applying for this loan because she knows it has to be paid back. Taking a loan to run her business is not unfamiliar to her. What sets this loan apart is the three per cent (3%) interest rate, which is unusual in this climate. Maa Akos has been in business for a while, is self-sufficient and does not want hand-outs. It is a win-win for her and our country.
The GHS 1 Billion relief fund is managed by National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and admin-istered to eligible businesses through the participating financial institutions and selected telecommunication companies.
NBSSI is a governmental agency under the Ministry of Trade and industry, mandated by Act 343 of 1981, to strengthen and grow MSMEs in Ghana. With a foot-print in 178 districts across the nation, it is well posi-tioned to execute the task at hand.
NBSSI has a proven track record in delivering results through similar interventions. In the last three years, NBSSI has chalked many significant milestones such as the training of 65,000 youth, of which women ac-counted for 62 percent. This was done through inno-vation hubs, apprenticeship programmes, access to in-ternational export markets and providing approximately GHS70 million worth of funding.
NBSSI has also helped in estab-lishing over 13,000 new business-es, of which 70 percent are wom-en-led. They have also provided business development support to 250 enterprises (including those linked to One District, One Facto-ry Program) with 5,000 plus work-ers benefitting.
Through the NBSSI Business Ad-visory Centres, 350,000 entrepre-neurs, 73% of which are female, have been supported with approx-imately GHS45 million, disbursed as loans. NBSSI has also provided business acceleration services to 254 MSMEs through KAIZEN for productivity and quality improvement.
This is what NBSSI does on a day-to-day basis –sup-porting MSMEs with financial and technical resources to help them grow sustainable businesses. NBSSI will leverage its relationship with MSMEs to ensure that funds received are used for their intended purpose and ensure that all efforts are made to repay loans according to the favourable repayment terms.
The hope is that this fund will benefit as many eligible businesses as possible, to ensure their survival, as well as that of households that depended on such businesses. There is no doubt that this relief Programme is timely and most welcome. Anidasuo no aba and Ghana will dream again. Hope now! Hope for MSMEs! Hope for all!
TO APPLY FOR THE LOAN
Visit nbssi.gov.gh/capsupport or dial *718*555# on any mobile network
Visit the nearest NBSSI district office or Call Helpline: 030 274 7777 if you need help with your application
CAUTION: APPLICANTS ARE TO BE MIND-FUL OF FRAUDSTERS REGISTERING PEO-PLE AT A FEE.
INITIAL REGISTRATION AND APPLICATION IS FREE, HOWEVER AN ADMINISTRATIVE/ PROCESSING FEE IS DEDUCTED ONLY WHEN FUNDS HAVE BEEN APPROVED AND CREDITED TO THE APPLICANT’S ACCOUNT.