Late Release of Funds Hampering NBSSI

The late release of funds from Government to run the activities of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has been cited as a major challenge to the growth of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). This disclosure comes on the heels of a critical look at the current state of performance for SMEs in the Ashanti Region, which has been described to be a little below average and is attributed to the numerous challenges that confront the sector. “But for these challenges, SMEs would have performed better than they appear to be doing now.” These challenges, which were enumerated to include lack of access to credit, high interest of borrowing from banks, erratic power supply, lack of record-keeping among many others, according to Mr. Michael Odartei Golightly, Head of Business Advisory Centre-NBSSI in the Ashanti Region, are mitigating strongly against positive development of the SME’s in the region. Among some of the problems highlighted, access to credit facilities and high interest rates conspicuously still remain among the longstanding problems which have affected growth of the SME sector in the country. Despite all these development, however, efforts by the NBSSI to help address these challenges through implementation of its tailor-made programmes and annual activities are said to be often met with delays in the release of funds which to a large extent is hampering the outfit’s work. Many of the activities and programmes targetted to resource the capacity of SME’s in the area of customer relations; application of modern business management principles; and the provision of technical assistance aimed at enhancing the skills and competence of SME’s time and again end up becoming a mirage in the absence of funds and logistics to roll-out the programmes. Mr. Golightly also observed that some SME’s often do not put in much effort to adhere fully to the directives given by resource persons at various seminars and training programmes organised in the hope of boosting their capacity. This development, and the inability of some SME’s to interact effectively with programme facilitators, often makes it difficult to see SME’s performing as expected. He therefore appealed for the timely release of funds and adequate provision of logistics to enable the NBSSI to pursue its programmes and objectives, while calling on SME’s in the region to avail themselves for support through the seminars and other capacity-building programmes.