About 1, 000 businesses in the private sector are to benefit from loan facilitates from government by the end of the year to empower the informal sector and promote growth.
An additional 1,000 young entrepreneurs specifically women and 500 physically challenged persons would have access to soft loans to build and grow their small businesses.
The Minister of Business Development, Mr Ibrahim Awal, who announced this in Kumasi at a breakfast meeting with Chief Executive Officers (CEO) of the private sector in Ashanti region, said the government still valued the private sector as the engine of growth hence the need to support it.
The meeting was organised by the Ghana Employers Association.
He explained that government was of the view that when women and the physically challenged were empowered, it would help create more job opportunities for the youth and the socially excluded
Mr Awal, who was once the Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, expressed worry at the collapse of thriving businesses which were employing thousands of people within and outside the Kumasi Metropolis.
But in a sharp response, the business owners attributed the problem to series of harassments from tax officers from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the general high cost of doing business.
Some of the managers from the Poultry industry for instance indicated how they could have saved the unemployment situation in the region if they were adequately supported and included in the government’s One-District-One-Factory programme.
In unison, the private poultry businessmen alleged no government had supported the industry over the years adding that they were not even recognised during national celebration of the Farmers’ Day.
They said such attitude by government was contributing towards the collapse of the industry especially the failure to ban the importation of chicken parts into the country.
From the transport sector, Neoplan Ghana Limited said it had the resources and expertise to supply high quality buses that were durable and good for the Ghanaian road network but they had been overlooked and shunned.
Rather, they said, government had resorted to the importation of buses from countries like China which were not conducive to the Ghanaian weather.
The Commissioner of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Samuel Sakyi Duodu, explained that it was their core mandate to mobilise funds for government to develop the country.
He assured the business owners that measures have been put in place to check any harassment by GRA officers.
Mr Awal assured them that their concerns have been duly acknowledged and government would play its role in helping to revamping most of businesses.