President Akufo-Addo has announced that the disbursement of the six hundred million cedis (GHS600 million) stimulus package for micro, small and medium-scale businesses is expected to start in May.
He announced this during his 7th COVID-19 national address to Ghanaians on Sunday, 19th April 2020.
It will be recalled that, in his nationwide address on Sunday, 5th April, 2020, the President announced that government, in collaboration with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Business & Trade Associations and selected Commercial and Rural Banks, will roll out a soft loan scheme up to a total of six hundred million cedis (GH¢600 million), which will have a one-year moratorium and two-year repayment period for micro, small and medium scale businesses
The scheme will help sustain the country’s affected industries and address the distraction in economic activities caused by the pandemic.
According to the President, the fund, which forms part of the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme will serve the main purpose of supporting households and businesses.
“I know the effects of the measures to contain the virus have been difficult for many, and that is why I mandated the creation of the GH¢1.2 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme to support households and businesses. Out of this amount, six hundred million cedis (GH¢600 million) of assistance is being provided to micro, small and medium-scale businesses. I expect disbursements of the six hundred million cedis to start in May,” he stated.
“We will be very active to start distribution and so on and so forth. We know that each contribution we have received is going to help in combating the disease because we will be strengthening and supporting those involved in the combat activities as well as to help to alleviate the plight of the needy,” he added.
Also, out of the GHS1.2 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme, two hundred and eighty million cedis (GHS280 million) is being used to provide food for the vulnerable and free water for all Ghanaians for three (3) months, i.e. April, May and June, while, three hundred and twenty three million cedis (GHS323 million) is being used to motivate health workers.
What the Fund seeks to do
The Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) was proposed by government to effectively manage social and economic recovery in Ghana as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In his fourth address to update Ghanaians on the country’s responses to the Coronavirus pandemic, President Nana Akufo-Addo directed the Finance Minister to prepare for approval by Parliament.
Finance Committee permits government to spend from the Contingency Fund
On April 8, 2020, the Finance Committee of Parliament gave authorization to the Minister of Finance to spend GHS1.2 billion from the Contingency Fund.
The decision was taken after the committee’s meeting, following a statement made by the Minister in the House on government’s Coronavirus Alleviation Programme.
By the approval, the Finance Minister can now implement the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme, with the expectation that an extra 50 million dollars will accrue to the fund by close of the year.
The Finance Minister has already revealed that the cumulative effect of the novel coronavirus pandemic will cost Ghana GHS9.505 billion.