A former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Alex Mould has opined that the government is likely to siphon the GHC 600 million COVID-19 stimulus package meant for distressed businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic for illegal activities.
The Energy and Finance expert has explained that he cannot fathom why the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), an institution run by political appointees has been assigned to oversee the disbursement of the package instead of reputable financial institutions regulated by the Central Bank.
With this, he explained that the NBSSI is not a qualified institution to undertake the disbursement of the stimulus package since it is not a regulated financial institution but a mere bureaucratic one controlled by political appointees.
On the basis of the above arguments, Alex Mould is of the view that there is the likelihood for the government to divert the stimulus package into what he described as a “political slush fund” which will be siphoned for illegal and corrupt activities.
In a statement released by the former GNPC boss, he explained that “I can emphatically state the NBSSI is not qualified to disburse loans. Unlike Financial institutions that are regulated, have credit underwriting standards and credit approval procedures, the NBSSI is a bureaucratic institution controlled by politicians. What safeguards has the NBSSI put in place to ensure that the funds disbursed are used for the approved purpose?”
“Financial institutions should be the channel for disbursing the GHS600m earmarked for the SMEs under CAP, or it could become a political slush fund otherwise. Clear risk-sharing allocation protocols must be agreed between Government and Financial institutions,” Alex Mould said.
He, therefore, called on Ghanaians to demand transparency in the disbursement of the package since the fund is not free money and hence the criteria for approval must obviously be made public and transparent.