Parliament has approved the Ghana Enterprises Agency Bill under a certificate of urgency.
The House, last week, determined that the Bill be passed under a certificate of urgency due to its importance.
The Ghana Enterprises Agency Bill will convert the National Board for Scale for Small Industries (NBSSI) into an agency to oversee, coordinate, promote and develop Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
According to a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, the conversion of NBSSI into a fully-fledged agency is aimed at formalizing the MSME sector to make it easier for players in that sector to access credit.
“When we say promote and support, it covers all aspect. It starts with a simple, yet important factor which is defining what the MSMEs are. Once you define that, you look at the challenges that are faced by this sector of the economy such as the fact that they are largely informal. Because they are informal, it becomes very difficult to actually have policies that can touch them. So helping them formalize is necessary. Once that is done, you look at challenges they face and provide the support they need.”
“A critical element of the Agency is that it is going to raise a fund that is targeted specifically at MSMEs to provide them with finance. Finance is one of the key constraints to most of our MSMEs. But it’s not just about finance, it is everything to do with helping them keep better accounts and understanding the importance of business management.”
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.