Nana Akrasi Sarpong, acting Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI), has urged entrepreneurs to take advantage of the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF).
He said the Fund had not been utilized following its amendment two years ago to provide financial assistance to people in the agro processing and agro development sector.
Nana Akrasi Sarpong made this revelation at the second in a series of MOTI’s “planned regional programme” to create awareness for the Ministry’s policies, programmes, activities and achievements over the years.
Nana Akrasi Sarpong said though there was so much money for entrepreneurs to access at “very low interests”, they were rather going for high interest commercial loans, accounting for the slow growth of SMEs in the country.
Nana Akrasi Sarpong attributed the lack of patronage of the EDAIF facility to lack of access to information and advised entrepreneurs to seek information regularly in order to survive in the market.
Investigations by the Ghana News Agency in Ho revealed that a number of small businesses and enterprises in Ho have been closed because their owners are unable to pay loans they contracted from some banks and microfinance companies.
Justice Agbenyo, a senior apprentice at a popular electrical shop in Ho, which has been closed down, told the GNA that the shop was closed because his master could not pay loans he contracted.
Agbenyo said he was now using the front part of his master’s shop for some part time jobs while working to open his own shop.
A couple of retail shops have also been closed down for non-payment of loans.
Mr Francis Kusi, Project Coordinator of the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), said only two enterprises from the Volta Region registered with his outfit and were benefiting from EDAIF.
He said in view of the Region’s strategic location, more of its SMEs ought to take advantage of the Fund.
Nii Lante Vanderpuye, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, amazed at the innovative agro processing tools, agro products and crafts exhibited at the forum, expressed the hope that with the necessary financial assistance, trade and industry could transform the local economy.
He said there were several economic opportunities in the Region and urged entrepreneurs to access the Venture Capital Fund and EDAIF to turn their businesses around.
“These funds are for you. Don’t wait for others to go for them. This is what we have for you,” Mr Vanderpuye said. GNA