Members of Parliament have agreed in principle to pass the Ghana Enterprises Agency Bill, 2020 into an Act under a certificate of urgency before the House rises next week.
The purpose of the bill is to establish the Ghana Enterprises Agency to oversee, coordinate, promote and develop Micro, Small, and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs)
If passed, a fund would be established to provide funding for the MSME sector to address gaps in funding for the enterprises and to develop the sector, especially the ones in rural areas.
At the second reading of the Bill in Parliament yesterday, the lawmakers said the yet to be enacted law would significantly address the bottlenecks that affect MSMEs.
In their view, the coronavirus pandemic and its associating effects makes the urgency of the bill more than ever before.
“Given the merit of the bill and the need to ensure Ghanaian businesses are cushioned in these times of the pandemic, the bill needs to be taken through all the stages of the passage in one day”, the report of the Trade, Industry, and Tourism Committee on whether or not the bill was of urgent nature urged.
The committee’s report observed that MSMEs play critical roles in national development and economic transformation.
“They constitute about 92 per cent of businesses in Ghana, account for about 85 per cent of manufacturing employment and contribute about 70 per cent to Gross Domestic Product of the country,” the report said.
This notwithstanding, the sector still faced challenges and constraints that impeded the growth of MSMEs in Ghana, the report added.
Notable among them, the report said included the high cost of doing business, limited access to credit and business development services and inability to meet production standards amongst others.
“There is therefore the need to support the growth and development of the MSMEs sector to generate jobs and incomes, increase government revenue and help eradicate poverty in Ghana,” it stated.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, supporting the motion for the bill to be passed under certificate of urgency said the politicisation of enterprises was not good for the growth of the sector.
Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader, said there had never been a metric to determine which enterprise qualified to be an MSME; one thing he said the imminent act would address.
He said it was time the Government of Ghana supported local enterprises to become global conglomerates like the Dangotes and the Mo Ibrahims.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI