Parliament is expected to soon pass the Ghana Enterprises Agency Bill under a certificate of urgency.
The Bill, when passed and assented to by the President, will convert the National Board for Scale for Small Industries into an agency to oversee, co-ordinate, promote and develop Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
The Bill has already gone through the second reading stage.
Speaking to the media, a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Minister, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, said the rationale behind the conversion of the NBSSI into a fully fledged Agency is aimed at formalizing the MSME sector.
“We have a new structure and a new policy driven by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, that is the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises strategy, and that is something we will be launching over the next few days. The essence of that new strategy covers a number of areas. If you look at the existing structures of most of our businesses, particularly the Micro and Small, they’re all informal.”
“A vast majority of them are informal. When you have informal businesses or enterprises, it makes it very difficult for us to touch them with policies. If they are very informal, a tax policy hasn’t got the ability to touch them. If they are very informal, some of the activities we would want to do which are regulatory holidays will not touch them. So, one of the key initial steps is the formalization of that MSME Sector,” he said.
A number of functions specified in the NBSSI Act have become obsolete or impracticable to execute.
The MSME sector is also uncoordinated as various stakeholders made of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, private sector associations, NGOs and development partners, are involved in the development of programmes aimed at supporting the MSME sector in Ghana.
Taking cognizance of the situation, the MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy prescribes the conversion of the NBSSI into an Agency whose objects will include overseeing, promoting and developing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
Ghana Enterprise Bill
The Ghana Enterprise Bill was presented to Parliament by a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay on behalf of the Minister responsible for Trade and Industry in the House on Tuesday, 20th October, 2020.
The Bill was subsequently referred to the committee on the Trade, Industry and Tourism for consideration and report, in accordance with Article 106 of the 1992 constitution and order 159 of the Standing orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
The Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, the Executive Director of National Board for Small Scale Industry (NBSSI), Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, and her technical team, and an official from the office of the Attorney General, attended upon the Committee and assisted in its deliberations.