‘Convert NBSSI to Enterprise Devt Authority’

Mr Ato Barnes (seated right) with the participants.

Mr Ato Barnes (seated right) with the participants.

A draft national policy for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has advocated the conversion of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) into an Enterprise Development Authority (EDA) to facilitate MSME development and promotion.

 

The draft policy, which also called for complete resourcing, said the creation of the EDA would bring together all agencies and bodies concerned with improving the MSME sector for effective coordination and prevent duplication of institutions.

 

At a southern zone stakeholders consultative workshop for the draft policy in Accra yesterday, Mr Ato Barnes, Policy Consultant, said the current NBSSI was weak in its capacity to create the necessary environment for growth of the MSME sector.

 

The policy, he explained, was necessary to tackle challenges including regulatory framework, lack of access to finance, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of access to capacity development, among others.

 

It would also address ineffective coordination and implementation of MSMEs initiative due to overlapping functions of government agencies and institutions related to the sector’s development.

 

Mr Barnes said the policy further proposed a review of existing tax legislations to include incentives such as tax breaks and exemptions for MSMEs and ensure the provision of the needed infrastructure including common service centers, industrial estates and incubation facilities.

 

In the area of financing, he stated that the policy would ensure government set up an MSME Fund through the EDA to make funds readily available to operators and support MSMEs to access innovative long-term financing packages for their sustainable growth.

 

Further to that, he said the authority would strengthen the capacities of MSMEs in the preparation of business plans, accounting and book keeping; and the use of Information Technology (IT) based accounting packages.

 

It would also collaborate with the private sector to establish concessionary bank loans for women and youth entrepreneurship development.

 

The policy would again ensure the implementation of the Made-In-Ghana policy in order to promote indigenous MSMEs and initiate the establishment of showcases in various districts of their distinct products.

 

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, in a speech read on his behalf, said the policy was to formalise the informal sector and enhance local economic development by strengthening the NBSSI towards job creation.

 

He stated that the policy was necessary to promote enterprises with high value addition; exports oriented and import substitution and encourage use of raw materials as well as improve access to finance.

 

It would further research, improve productivity of the MSME sub-sector and promote spatial distribution of industries to reduce rural-urban migration, Mr Kyerematen added.

 

The Executive Director of NBSSI, Kosi Yankey, said two other stakeholders’ consultative workshops would be held for the middle and northern sectors of the country for their inputs before the policy would be validated on November 27, this year.

By Claude Nyarko Adams

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