The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), has announced a six-day extension of the deadline for accessing government’s stimulus package from June 20 to 26.
The decision, taken in consultation with the Fund’s Steering Committee, comes in the wake of various concerns raised by some Trade and Business Associations and is meant to accommodate stakeholders concerns.
The move is to also offer for more time to enable some members of the various trade associations who had specific challenges concerning submission of applications to rectify such.
During a media briefing in Accra on Friday, the Executive Director of NBSSI, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh and Steering Committee Members of the Programme, said the six-day extension for application was necessary to offer enough time for all potential beneficiaries to access the fund.
“The grace period presents an opportunity to rectify complaints and errors of applicants with wrong credentials recorded on the digitized application portal. We are currently analysing the data to get a better understanding of the challenges,” the Fund managers said.
Another reason given for the extension is delayed applications due to challenges encountered in the acquisition of Tax Identification Numbers (TIN); thus, the extension is to give eligible businesses the opportunity to acquire TIN and complete their applications.
The extension is also an opportunity to mop up hard copy paper applications (from cut off communities and rural areas with no internet), for processing onto the digitized system.
As June 18, 2020, over 450,000 applicants – representing micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) had registered on the programme; with 75 percent of this number having successfully completed their applications.
The online portal has also detected over 5,200 fraud alerts representing multiple applications with same mobile money or bank account details.
Applicants who registered via the USSD code (on the various mobile networks) represent 58.8 percent of total applications received; the remaining 41.2 percent represents registrations done directly on the web portal.
Gender disaggregation for applications reveal that 66 percent of applicants are females who requested for 47 per cent of total value of funds applied for; while male applications accounted for 34 per cent of total applications, representing 52.6 per cent of total value of funds.
To further ensure the grace period is efficiently utilized to achieve its aim, NBSSI has intensified collaboration with the Ghana Revenue Authority to facilitate TIN acquisition for applicants.