The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), managers of the government stimulus package – CAP BuSS – has announced a six-day extension of the deadline for applications from June 20 to 26.
The decision, taken in consultation with the CAP BuSS Steering Committee, comes in the wake of varied concerns raised by some Trade and Business Associations asking for more time to enable some of their members who had specific challenges and were yet to submit their applications, to do so.
At a media briefing in Accra, on Friday 19th June, hosted by the Executive Director of NBSSI together with other Steering Committee Members of the Programme, several reasons were outlined.
“Together with the CAP BuSS Steering Committee, we had to give all concerns careful thought to arrive at the six-day extension,” noted the Executive Director of NBSSI – Kosi Yankey-Ayeh.
“The grace period presents an opportunity to rectify complaints and errors of applicants with wrong credentials recorded on the digitized application portal. We are currently analysing the data to get a better understanding of the challenges,” added Mrs Yankey-Ayeh.
Other reasons given for the extension included delayed applications due to challenges encountered in the acquisition of Tax Identification Numbers (TIN); thus, the extension is to give eligible businesses the opportunity to acquire TIN and complete their applications.
The extension was also an opportunity to mop up paper applications (from cut off communities and rural areas with no internet), for processing onto the digitized system.
As at Thursday, 18th June 2020, over 450,000 applicants – representing micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) had registered on the Programme; 75 per cent of this number had successfully completed their applications.
The online portal had also detected over 5,200 fraud alerts representing multiple applications with same mobile money or bank account details.
Applicants who registered via the USSD code (on the various mobile networks) represent 58.8 per cent; the remaining 41.2 per cent represents registrations done directly on the web portal.
Gender disaggregation for applications constitute 66 per cent females who requested for 47 per cent of total
value of funds requested; and male applications at 34 per cent representing 52.6 per cent of total value of funds.
To further ensure the grace period is efficiently utilised to achieve its aim, NBSSI has intensified collaboration with the Ghana Revenue Authority to facilitate TIN acquisition for applicants.
Business and Trade Associations have been asked to get extra IT personnel for NBSSI to train them to facilitate data entry for association members onto the digitized system.
NBSSI has deployed additional IT personnel to support applicants with wrong credentials based on specific needs.