The recent announcement of the COVID -19 business stimulus package has attracted a lot of stakeholders to understand the disbursement procedures and the interest to be paid on the loan. The interest to be paid on the loan was officially made known to be 5% p.a, but now the Member of Parliament for Manhia, Hon. Collins Amankwah, a strong member of NPP, claims that is 3% p.a and not 5%, confusing Ghanaians on the exact interest.
During the week, the deputy minister of trade and industry, Carlos-Ahenkorah, in an interview on United Television said that, businesses will be paying an interest of 5% p.a on the stimulus package. He further explained that, businesses need to apply for the package through the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), which has been mandated for the fair disbursements of the package. According to data, 180,000 businesses are expected to benefit from the package with a minimum of ¢1,000 and a maximum of ¢25,000.
In an interview on United Television, Dela Edem, NDC communication team member, claims that there is no transparency in the disbursement, henceforth, the possibility that the money will be shared within the NPP party is obvious. According to him, the money is supposed to be given to the banks to share not NBSSI, to ensure transparency. As at today, 8000 businesses have applied for the package and more are expected to apply.
The stimulus package was announced to be ¢600million but later updated with ¢400million from the banks making a total of ¢1billion. Dela Edem hinted that, if care is not taken, there is going to be politicization of the package, where only part members will benefit. Speaking on the interests to be paid on the loan, Collins Amankwah said, the interest to be paid is 3% p.a but not 5% as announced earlier by the deputy minister trade and industry. He continued to affirm his position that, he is a member of parliament so Ghanaians should listen to him. Many people are now confused and asking what is going on within the government as different interest rates has been announced by two people form the same government.
The question of uniformity in government is going through people’s minds. Why is there confusion on the interest rate to be paid on the stimulus package? Is there some hidden agenda which is not known by authorities within the government? These questions and many more should be clarified to resolve the confusions created in the minds of Ghanaians.