The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has clarified that the application procedure for the government’s Coronaravirus Alleviation Program (CAP) is free following claims that some unscrupulous individuals are taking money for the process.
According to the Board, applicants are not required to pay any fee to anyone during the application process.
The government earlier announced that a sum of GH¢600million was being made available to cushion businesses against the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the amount was increased to GH¢1 billion, with the additional GH¢400 million, said to have been committed by some financial institutions in the country.
Since the board of the NBSSI announced it was receiving applications, there have been media reports that some applicants are being charged between GH¢200 and GH¢250 to access the stimulus package.
But Executive Director of NBSSI, Kosi Antwiwaa Yankey-Ayeh wants the unsuspecting public to be wary of fraudsters since the processes are absolutely free.
“We at NBSSI are not charging anyone to register and we are not going around telling people to pay any fee to register with us. I think what people are doing is taking advantage of the situation to make money which is fraudulent. So we are advising the public, those who are interested in applying to the support scheme, not to work with the people who come around the market acting as if they are the staff of the NBSSI or any kind of association working for the NBSSI. We are not going around asking people to pay exorbitant fees to get support or a loan and we are not promising anyone that if they pay, they are going to get a loan,” she said.
The Board has activated a portal that accepts applications for the utilisation of the soft loan scheme for Micro, Small and Medium Scale businesses (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far, it has received more than 5,000 applications from institutions seeking to benefit from the stimulus package.
More than 1,000 individuals have also reached out to the board for various inquiries on how to access the facility.