The National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI) has started disbursing GH¢50 million to private schools which applied for loans under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAP BuSS).
The disbursement is expected to enable about 2,000 private schools to pay the salaries of their teachers and other members of staff.
Most private schools have not been able to generate funds to pay their staff following the closure of schools for the past six months due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The development has brought financial hardship on teachers and other members of staff of the affected schools, for which reason the schools appealed for a bailout from the government.
Giving an update on the stimulus package to the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the Executive Director of the NBSSI, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, said her office had commenced payment to those private schools that applied for the stimulus package through designated banks.
She said from September 7, about 2,000 private schools began receiving their share of the GH¢750 million CAP BuSS, a special fund set up by the government to cushion micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Up to GH¢50 million of the special fund is expected to be disbursed to the private schools alone by the end of the programme.
Beneficiaries, who met the rigorous criteria designed by the NBSSI would receive up to GH¢250,000 each, under what was known as the Anidaso and the Adom special loans, Mrs Yankey-Ayeh explained.
The special fund is categorised into Anidaso and Adom special loans, with an interest rate of three per cent, payable within two years, after a moratorium of one year.
“Many schools have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and require support to keep their lights on and pay staff. This support will contribute to the continued operations of the schools in the interim,” she added.
She said her office was working around the clock and in close collaboration with participating financial institutions (PFIs) to effect disbursements.
“The NBSSI is still in the process of disbursing loans, in collaboration with selected PFIs, to private schools that applied, as well as other eligible applicants. Each of those who passed will receive the funds in due course,” Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said.
The disbursement of the CAP BuSS fund started in July this year with loans in the Adom Micro category receiving support.
“Disbursements of the Anidaso loans, comprising businesses in the upper micro, small and medium categories, were also initiated in August 2020. Applications of some private schools and other businesses in the Anidaso category have already been approved and disbursed, while other applications pending disbursement will be done by the PFIs in the coming days,” she said.
Up to speed
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said so far, the CAP BuSS scheme had disbursed GH¢390 million to 200,000 MSMEs in all sectors in all regions and districts in the country.
“The CAP BuSS will, indeed, benefit as many eligible businesses as possible to ensure their survival, as well as that of households that depended on such businesses. There is no doubt that this relief programme is timely and most welcome,” she said.
The NBSSI, Mrs Yankey-Ayeh, indicated would continue to deliver on its mandate to businesses with the requisite support to thrive in the economic downturn.
The CAP BuSS is a special fund set up by the government to cushion MSMEs from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government set up the special fund with a seed capital of GH¢600 million and subsequently topping it up with GH¢150 million.
Its key objective is to help protect as many jobs as possible as the COVID-19 rages.