The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), yesterday disbursed GH₵1million to the first 1,000 applicants of the GH₵1billion COVID-19 Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAP BuSS).
The beneficiaries, who received varying amounts not exceeding GH₵2,000, were applicants of the Adom Micro soft loans, which is meant for the lower micro businesses such as food venders, barbers, beauticians and dressmakers.
Aided by Vodafone Ghana, the loans were deposited into the mobile money wallets of the beneficiaries, irrespective of their network operators, in the presence of selected stakeholders at a ceremony in Accra yesterday.
In an address before the disbursement, the Executive Director of NBSSI, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh said the beneficiaries were selected nationwide based on those whose applications were received in the first month of registration.
In line with arrangements regarding the stimulus package, she said the beneficiaries would pay three per cent interest that comes with a one year moratorium and two-year repayment.
According to her, applicants of the Adom Micro soft loans category, which was one of the two under the scheme, constituted 5.4 per cent of the total value of funds requested by all applicants of yesterday.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh noted that NBSSI in collaboration with KPMG, an audit firm, and other partners, were working round the clock to complete validation of the various applications received and disburse funds in the next few weeks.
She allayed the doubts of the public about the scheme and urged all to take advantage of the extension of the application window to register and receive the support being provided by the government.
In a presentation on how the applications are processed, Robert Dzato, a senior partner at KPMG, said the system was secure and assured applicants that their personal data provided were safe.
He hinted that the information of the more than 5,000 fraudsters who had been identified trying to outsmart the NBSSI would soon be handed over to the security agencies to deal with them.
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.
As of 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.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR