Even as the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre pats itself on the back for bucking the global trend with regards to global Foreign Direct Investment inflows, and prepares to play a crucial role in the execution of the second phase of the Ghana COVID 19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support programme from 2021 to 2023, it has discovered that it is being used in an intricate scam by yet unidentified fraudsters
The scam involves the circulation of a purported application form emanating from the GIPC to benefit from a so-called “Opportunity Fund”, through which all kinds of Ghanaian enterprises are eligible for a business grant.
However GIPC has swiftly responded by announcing that it “wishes to disassociate from this ‘Opportunity Fund Initiative” and to state unequivocally that the document in circulartion is fake.”
The fake document carries the GIPC logo in its top right hand corner and is entitled: Opportunity Fund Enterprise Funding Initiative: working capital for working people.
The elaborately faked document invites applications for business grants from sole proprietorships; for medium enterprise grants from partnerships; and for large enterprise grants from private limited companies. The grants are supposed to be provided in United States dollars.
Sections of the fake application form suggest the grants are meant to support enterprises that have been forced to lay off employees because of COVID 19 and offer affirmative action towards youth, women and disabled applicants.
GIPC “firmly cautions the general public to be vigilant and avoid falling prey to this scam.”
There have been lots of COVID 19 related scams making the rounds in Ghana just like in virtually every other country around the world but this is the first involving GIPC. The Centre’s executives were understandably irked by this; just last week they were celebrating the fact that in stark contrast to the forecast by the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development that global FDI flows would shrink by 40 percent because of the effects of the global pandemic, Ghana’s FDI inflows were up by 409 percent for the first half of the year, reaching US$785.6 million.