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Business News Fri, 27 Feb 2004

Volta, U/W business concerns yet to access EDIF credit

Ho, Feb. 27, GNA - Business entities in the Volta and Upper West regions are yet to access credit under the Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF), a scheme set up by the government in 2000 to promote export trade in Ghana.

Northern, Brong Ahafo, and Upper East regions have one company each accessing the facility, while Greater Accra Region got the bulk of the fund's outlays amounting to about 58.5 per cent so far. Mr Kwabena Nkrumah, Director of Credits and Projects of EDIF, said this on Wednesday at the first regional launch of the fund in Ho. He said the fund had no baseline for credits and therefore, could rope in micro industries in export.

In reaction to Dr Paul Pawar, a Consultant's narration of his frustration and final rejection when he tried to access the EDIF facility, Mr Nkrumah explained that the 17 Designated Financial Institutions (DFI) through which EDIF granted credits were taking risks and would want to reassure themselves of the viability of projects before recommending them for help.

He, however, advised that prospective businesses that would apply for EDIF credit should run accounts with the banks through which they routed their applications.

Mr Nkrumah said though EDIF would not insist on collaterals, the banks might demand them, depending on the trust that existed between the applicants and their bankers.

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Mr Kofi Dzamesi, Deputy Volta Regional Minister, urged business concerns in the region to grab the opportunity and join the lucrative export trade.

"Capital is a critical resource for economic development and is usually not easy to come by. Now this scarce resource is being brought to our doorsteps. What else can we do other than to seize the opportunity," he stated.

Mr Theophilus Gadzanku, Volta Regional President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), who presided, challenged business groups in the region to plan their activities on long-term basis and also eschew individualism.

He said the infrastructure base of designated industrial areas in the region were weak requiring bigger capital to start business.

Source: GNA
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