Businesses belonging to Persons With Disability (PDWs) from the northern part of the country have been provided with GH¢200,000 under the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP).
The package is in line the Presidential Empowerment for Entrepreneurs with Disability through the Ministry for Business Development. In all, an amount of GH¢2 million grant is to be advanced to businesses belonging to PWDs businesses, as part of efforts to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their operations.
The northern sector is the second region to benefit from the package after it was launched in Accra.
The COVID-19 Business relief support for Persons With Disability is themed “financial inclusion for entrepreneurs with disability” and is to ensure beneficiaries access the finance to create employment opportunities that would relief them of stress as well enhance their capacity to contribute to economic development.
The beneficiaries drawn from the Northern, Savannah and the North East regions were grouped under fashion, agriculture, food and beverages, trade and commerce with each group receiving GH¢35,000, GH¢50,000, GH¢20,000 and GH¢70,000 respectively.
Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, the Minister for Business Development, noted that the government was committed to building an inclusive society that ensures that all persons benefit from government development initiatives.
According to him, there are about 1.2 million PWDs and that the President’s vision is to ensure that no one is left behind. “Some are not working because of the fear of the pandemic. So we want to urge all beneficiaries to use the money well and expand their business, create more jobs for other persons with disabilities so that the lives of Ghanaians will improve,” he urged.
Touching on monitoring, he noted the ministry is collaborating with district assemblies to ensure the funds are utilized for the intended purpose: “We know where their businesses are located so every month, we will follow up and see how they are doing, what their problems are and if they need some additional help.”
The North East Regional Minister, Solomon Namliit Boar, was hopeful the COVID-19 stimulus package would help revive businesses of the beneficiaries to transform their daily lives.
“Disability has nothing to do with inability. You are capable of making use of any resources made available to you to create job opportunities. Go back there, challenge yourselves, and do not allow anyone to use you for their selfish gain. You have grown beyond sympathy. God has made it possible for you to be alive because he knows you have a contribution to make to the development of mankind,” he said.
He further urged the beneficiaries to utilise the funds for the intended purpose.