Nana Osei-Bonsu, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), says the failure of government agencies to meet requisite timelines for the issuance of permits and certificates is adding to the cost of businesses.
He said in some instances applications could take as long as a year to be processed because of capacity constraints, including finance and administrative, thereby adding to the operation cost of the enterprises.
Nana Osei-Bonsu was speaking at a business community stakeholders meeting to deliberate on how to speed up the process of permit and certificates acquisition for private enterprises to enhance the ease of doing business.
He said the PEF would come out with a position paper that would seek to improve business registration and application of permit and certificates.
Among others, the position paper would, highlight the need for the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD) and the Department of Factories Inspectorate (DOFI) to retain their fees to help them financially to deliver on their mandate.
“The essence of the whole project is that the private businesses are encountering numerous constraints in doing their businesses, which increase their cost of doing business,” he said.
Nana Osei-Bonsu said a study titled “Streamlining of Cross-Sectoral Licensing Requirements,” had called for reforms to reduce the challenges and delays associated with acquiring business license by private business sector operators in the country.
He said the lack of coordination among the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in issuing permits and certificates was having a negative toll on the private sector businesses.
“The study for instance revealed that the Ghana National Fire Service had only 50 fire inspectors across the country, which is woefully inadequate,” he said.
However, Kwabena Badu-Yeboah, the Acting Director/Environment Assessment and Audit Division of the EPA, said the EPA had put in place administrative procedures to deliver permits within 60 days, adding that any delays now might be due to the individual’s misunderstanding of the processes.
He also said the EPA is decentralizing its operations and has created13 new offices to bring the Agency’s services to the door-steps of clients.
In addition, he said, the Agency is working to enhance Information Communication Technology facilities to enable clients to apply for environmental application online.