Applicants of the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) business support have been asked to be cautious of persons who offer to register them on the scheme at a fee.
The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), the fund manager, said although the registration for the CAP was free, some unscrupulous individuals were charging applicants before registering them on the scheme.
A statement issued by the board in Accra said some unsuspecting applicants had fallen victim to fraudsters who were charging registration and application fees.
“The initial registration/application is totally free. However, an administrative or processing fee is deducted only when funds have been approved and credited to the applicant’s account,” the NBSSI said.
The GH₵1 billion CAP, launched by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, is aimed at aiding Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to survive the impact of the pandemic on their operations.
The statement said the facility came with an annual interest rate of three per cent, a one-year moratorium and a repayment term of between two and three years and administered to eligible businesses through some financial institutions and telecommunication companies.
“It is a life saver not just for the beneficiaries but for the nation as a whole. It is unprecedented in Ghana’s history, as it accounts for about 0.15 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 1.22 per cent of the projected tax revenue for 2020, oxygen for a nation gasping for breath from a Coronavirus pandemic that has hit the world hard and brought global economies to a standstill,” it said.
It noted that with MSMEs accounting for 92 per cent of businesses and contributing to about 70 per cent of GDP, the effort to support them was justified because, “MSMEs are the pulse of the Ghanaian economy. It is these businesses that keep the lights on in Ghana.”
“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,” the statement said.
The NBSSI said it had a proven track record in implementing similar interventions and had in the last three years, chalked many significant milestones such as the training of 65,000 youths and supporting several entrepreneurs.
“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,” it said.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR