NGOs lobby government for coronavirus stimulus package

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The Network of Association of Registered NGOs in Ghana (NARNGO) has implored government to consider what it describes as development NGOs and religious organisations for the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP).

The group is of the view that such crucial interventions from the government of the day in times like this should not only go to profit oriented institutions but also those who provide social services without any deliberate profit motives.

NARNGO has, thus, urged government to revise the criteria for qualification for the stimulus package which was originally instituted for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in April this year, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, announced a GH¢600 million stimulus package targeted at resuscitating SMEs, which figure was later scaled up by an additional GH¢400 from partners in the banking sector to bringing the total GH¢1 billion.

The soft loan facility being managed and disbursed by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) through various financial institutions gives a one year moratorium to beneficiaries with a 3% interest rate.
It has no ceiling to the disbursement amount.

Government reduces interest rate on stimulus package from 5% to 3%

But the NGOs association believes the conditions for qualification must change, arguing that “the most important thing Government must look out for is any concept that can create jobs, have social interventions and pay back the loan.”

In a statement signed by its president, Mr Kofi Lucas, NARNGO proposed that disbursement of the funds should for instance, be based on the number of jobs an organization is able to create, adding the institutions should be able to repay the loan after at least nine months of business operations

“The Corporative Business Group should have a Business Plan covering all its members. The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown has exposed social weaknesses and the challenges of the entire world. Families are struggling to put food on the table,” NARNGO asserted.

Read the association’s full statement below

Network of Associations of Registered NGOs in Ghana

The NPP led Government under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in April this year announced it would roll out a GH¢600 million stimulus packaged targeted at Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. In addition to that, it is mobilizing partners in the banking sector to supporting the fund with supplementary GH¢400 million, bringing the total amount targeted at small businesses to GH¢1 billion.

The facility is being managed by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and would have KPMG as its technical partner. According to National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), beneficiaries of the facility would pay an interest of three per cent (3%). The soft loans also offer a one year moratorium before repayments are to be made over the subsequent two years.

It has come to our notice that no upper limits and or minimum amounts have been announced with regards to loan sizes. The size of each loan will be decided based on need, circumstance and repayment capacity.

A loan committee has been established made up of one representative each from: the Ministries of Finance, Trade & Industry, NBSSI, and a representative of the participating financial intermediaries, KPMG as technical advisors to the initiative to supervise the approval and disbursement process.

The most important thing Government must look out for is any concept that can create jobs, have social interventions and pay back the loan. We are of the view that two groups be considered such are: SMEs that are profit oriented on one hand and Development NGOs / Religious bodies that are not profit oriented but rather social services inclined on the other hand.

A lead body capable of bring together MSMSEs, Development NGOs, Religious and Para-Religious bodies under one umbrella must have a corporate strategic business plan. Lead contact persons and corporate body must have track records and skills of organizing and mobilizing.
We therefore propose additional project criteria and objectives for both MSMSEs and Development NGOs / Religious bodies as follows for the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme for consideration by H.E. Mr. President:

AMOUNT REQUIRED AND NUMBER OF JOBS TO BE CREATED

Gh¢10,000.00 to MSMSEs / Development NGOs to create at least Five jobs for jobless youth

Gh¢ 20,000.00 to MSMSEs / Development NGOs to create at least Ten jobs for jobless youth

Gh¢30,000.00 to MSMSEs / Development NGOs to create at least Fifteen jobs for jobless youth

Gh¢40,000.00 to MSMSEs / Development NGOs to create at least Twenty jobs for jobless youth

Gh¢50,000.00 to MSMSEs / Development NGOs to create at least Twenty-five jobs for jobless youth to follow in that order.

PAYMENT PLAN
Capable of start paying the soft loan after at least nine months of business operations

ABILITY TO ORGANIZE CORPORATIVE BUSINESS GROUPS

Capable of organizing and mobilizing SMEs / Development NGOs / Religious bodies / Para-Religious bodies under Corporative Business at various levels from National to the grass root

SOCIAL INTERVENTIONS

CORPORATIVE BUSINESS GROUPS

To provide at least one nutritious healthy meal per day to at least 200 needy senior citizens and vulnerable groups per electoral area of operation in Ghana as part of their corporate social responsibility after Ten months of business operations.
MSMSEs

To provide at least one nutritious healthy meal per day to at least 50 needy senior citizens and vulnerable groups per electoral area of operation in Ghana as part of their corporate social responsibility after Ten months of business operations.

TO DEVELOP A STRATEGIC CORPORATE BUSINESS PLAN
The Corporative Business Group should have a Business Plan covering all its members.
The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown has exposed social weaknesses and the challenges of the entire world. Families are struggling to put food on the table.
We saw how people were struggling for cooked and dry food stuffs all over the world including Ghana, our dear and great nation. People were not obeying social distancing and were pushing their way through to get food. It was terrible to see people fighting for food on TV. People are dying and health professionals are struggling to cope with the situations in the hospitals due to COVID-19 pandemic globally.
Hunger, poor eating habits , weak immune system due to bad healthy lifestyle practice just to mention a few can be attributed to the death of people who have contracted COVID-19 pandemic globally including Ghana.
There is not enough and aggressive public education on dieting and nutrition. What we should eat, how we should eat and when we should eat in order to boost our immune system to fight infections, viruses, illnesses, diseases and sicknesses.
Network of Associations of Registered NGOs (NARNGO) in Ghana, is a registered NGO with registration no. G-19, 533) and has been incorporated as a company limited by Guarantee and as a Development NGO. It seeks the interest and welfare of the citizenry and the community in general.
It is the policy of the NGO to work closely with Government, and all Government Agencies to help disseminate Governments policies, programmes and projects to the grassroots nationwide.
It is our hope and prayer that our humble request and suggestion will be given the needed attention, consideration and approval. We are ready for further discussion on this matter in the interest of mother Ghana.
Once again we applaud you and your Team and say AYEKOO for this initiative. May God bless our efforts!
Yours Faithfully,
Issued and signed by

Mr. Kofi Lucas
Founding Father / President
(NARNGO)

SourceABC News

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