Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Trade and Industry said the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF) legislation is under review to make the fund private sector friendly.
He said the review would expand the mandate of EDAIF to support President John Dramani Mahama’s vision to build stronger relations between the private and public sector to create an enabling environment for businesses and investment.
Mr Iddrisu made this known when he embarked on a familiarisation tour to EDAIF and National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) in Accra.
He said EDAIF would play a major role in developing and nurturing the private sector by providing opportunity for Government to deal directly with the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s).
Mr Iddrisu said the review would expand EDAIF’s mandate to give start-up capital to SME’s through the NBSSI and also provide answers to the country’s agricultural export needs.
He said much of the Industry should be supported by EDAIF, adding that the Ghana Industrial Holding Corporation with the support of EDAIF has been turn around.
He noted that horticultural crops export is receiving attention in the European market and expressed the hope that EDAIF would strengthen its operations by establishing perishable cargo centres at the various airports.
At the NBSSI, Mr Iddrisu said Government want the NBSSI to lead the Small Scale District Industrialisation Initiative which would start in 2014.
He said Government would soon be holding a stakeholders meeting to restructure the NBSSI and empower it serve to serve the SME’s.
Mr Iddrisu said the Ministry of Trade and Industry will discuss and develop the SME’s policy which will be beneficial for businesses to access credit facilities.
Mr Lukman Abdul-Rahim, Executive Director of the NBSSI said the industry was established in 1985 and was mandated to promote and develop SME’s.
Mr Lukman said the delay of release of funds to the industry was a major challenge to growth of SME’s and appealed to minister to look into the situation.
He noted that there was no Legislative Instrument to help the implementation of the NBSSI act and also no policy guideline was define for the SME’s sector and atht the industry has engage a consultant to work on the guidelines.
Dr Issahaku Nashiru, Chief Executive Officer of EDAIF appreciated the effort of the minister of review the fund legislation to make it more private sector friendly.