An earlier attempt by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) to begin disbursement of funds to eligible businesses under government’ Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) has hit a snag due to fraudulent activities.
Executive Director, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, who made the disclosure, said at least 5,200 fraud alerts had been detected on the Board’s online portal dedicated to the programme since it came on stream.
“The online portal has detected 5,200 fraud alerts representing multiple applications with same mobile money or bank account details and we are working to address that to ensure that the right people get the funds,’ she said at a news conference in Accra last Friday.
According to the Executive Director, there have been instances where “people have registered with same mobile money account number for about 100 people which is unacceptable and we are working with KPMG to conduct strong data analysis to detect these fraudulent activities and get the accurate data to commence payment soon.”
The NBSSI had scheduled June 12 to commence disbursement of funds to businesses adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The whole process will be done on technology without any human involvement. So even if you apply on paper we will go into the IT platform to decide if you met the criteria, based on assumptions designed for the technology,” Mrs Yankey-Ayeh had said in a recent media interview.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh pointed out that investigations were ongoing into the matter and “we have directed some of these issues to the National Security and the Ghana Police Service to help us address them.”
Meanwhile, the Executive Director submitted that as at Thursday, June 18, 2020, more than 450,000 applicants had registered unto the programme with 75 per cent of the number, having successfully completed their applications.
“Applicants who registered via the USSD code represent 58.8 per cent, the remaining 41.2 per cent represents registrations done directly on the web portal.”
As regards gender disaggregation, the Executive Director pointed out that females constitute 66 per cent of applications who requested for 47 per cent of total funds available with the males, representing 34 per cent, requesting 52.6 per cent of total value of funds.
President Akufo-Addo on May 19 launched the CAP business support scheme to provide support to micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Out of the GH¢1.2 billion earmarked for this programme, GH¢600 million will be disbursed as soft loans to MSMEs with up to a one-year moratorium and a two-year repayment period.
The rate of interest on government’s GH¢600 million facility is three per cent.
Additionally, selected participating banks will provide negotiated counterpart funding to the tune of GH¢400 million, making, in all, GH¢1 billion for disbursement under the scheme, expected to attract some 180,000 beneficiaries across the country.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH