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Business News of Monday, 13 January 2020


Workers union threatens suit over privatization of Business Resource Centres

The Public Service Workers Union of the National Board for Small Scale Industries says it will head to court if the government fails to halt the privatisation of Business Resource Centres under the Rural Enterprises Programme.

The Union earlier indicated that handing over such public facilities to a private individual or group would deny Micro and Small Enterprises access to the required business development services.

The Brong Ahafo Local Chairman of the Union, Nuhu Salifu Dimeh, stressed that the National Board for Small Scale Industries was the only industry with such mandate.

He told Citi News that his union “will pursue any legal means to make sure the right thing is done.”

“The NBSI [National Board for Small Scale Industries] is the only government organisation mandated to provide business development services. These facilities that government is seeking to privatize are loans that we contracted on behalf of the people of Ghana to construct the facilities.”

Despite being against the privatisation of the centres, Mr. Dimeh noted that the private sector was free to construct their own facilities.

“Our position is that let the person, construct his own facility and compete with us. We are capable of and have a track record,” he said.

About the programme

The Rural Enterprises Programme (REP) is part of the Government’s efforts to reduce poverty and improve living conditions in rural areas.

It seeks to upscale and mainstream a district-based Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) support system implemented by a Rural Enterprises Project (REP I &II) within the public and private institutional systems.

REP I and REP II were implemented from 1995 to 2012 in 66 districts nationwide, according to the Rural Enterprises Programme website.

REP I and REP II contributed to the successful implementation of the national strategies for MSE promotion, as laid out in the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) II.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has overall responsibility for the Programme as the Ghana Government Executing Agency.

The Programme phase is being financed by the Government of Ghana, IFAD and AfDB at a total cost of about US$193 million