The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has directed Local Enterprises and Skills Development Programme (LESDEP) to speed up the distribution of business set up support facilities to prospective beneficiaries of the programme.
Baba Jamal, a Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, announcing the directive, called for the rapid distribution of the facilities to ensure that many young people, who have undergone skills training, benefit from the programme.
Speaking at a function to hand over 200 air-compressor machines and vehicle tyre changing equipment to the Ghana National Association of Garages (GNAG) in Accra last Tuesday, Baba Jamal stressed the need for LESDEP to pursue skills development programmes and live up to expectation.
According to LESDEP, out of 8,600 applicants, 5,700 beneficiaries have been provided with small-scale enterprise set-up equipment in various business categories.
However, the Deputy Minister indicated that the backlog of prospective beneficiaries should be cleared speedily so that the programme could be expanded to serve other sections of the public.
He commended LESDEP management for their innovation and skills support, saying ‘the development of small-scale enterprises was critical for poverty reduction and economic growth.’
Adam Gariba, National Coordinator of LESDEP, in his remarks, also announced that the programme had shifted focus from individual beneficiaries to dealing with organized groups.
It is easier to provide support facilities to groups for onward distribution to members who actually need them than dealing with individuals, he said.
In addition, he said dealing with organized associations would make it easy to monitor the use of facilities and to ensure repayment, adding that ‘it would ensure transparency in the selection of the beneficiaries.’
On the presentation to GNAG, he said LESDEP acknowledges the vital role its members play in the automobile industry in ensuring safety in the transportation sector and promised to support them.
He said 400 air-compressors and tyre changing machines would be provided to those in the Northern sector.
Alhaji Stephen M. Dakapo, National Chairman of GNAG, thanked LESDEP for the support, adding that ‘this equipment will help us to enhance our work.’
He said the facilities would be distributed to those who need them.
He reiterated their commitment to ensure prompt payment so as to justify their request for more support.
By William Yaw Owusu
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