The ARB Apex bank is the official partner of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) in the distribution of the stimulus package for businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Executive Director of the NBSSI, Esi Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, has revealed.
She said the bank, as well as the other participating financial institutions, will be retaining 3 per cent interest on the soft loans to be paid by beneficiaries.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday May 19 launched the GHC1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme. It is purposed to support Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises following the outbreak of COVID-19.
Ms Yankeh-Ayeh told Joy News that : “It is important for us to look at the participating financial institutions based on their reach. For instance, ARB Apex bank is rural and has branches across the country so they’re our partners in the program.
“The 3 per cent interest will take care of their cost because they’re taking care of the risks involved as well. As I said, we’re not in normal times so we can’t do normal things and therefore we cannot offer 20 per cent interest but we need to strengthen our businesses and sustain them” she noted.
“So far about seven banks including the ARB Apex bank has come on board to help with the disbursement process.
“Apart from the rural banks with about 800 footprints, about 7 financial institutions are on board and willing to support also for the micro, we’re trying to use the telcos to disburse because it’s not everyone that has access to the banks or financial services.”
In another interview with Accra based Citi FM, she revealed that that more players in the agriculture and agribusiness sector have applied for their share of the stimulus package than their colleagues in other sectors.
So far, she said, 1400 applicants have registered for the stimulus since the launch of the programme this week.
Ms Yankey-Ayeh said “As at the last time I checked, we have over 14000 applicants who have registered for the program, and are on the system.
“We have seen agriculture, agribusiness which is relatively high. We have also seen other services which is another sub-section and also private education.”
“The President promised May. We launched in May and we will ensure that the funds go out.
“We have set timelines for ourselves and targets for our people to get the funds so that they can utilize it and maximize its impact,” she said.