Government to decentralise procurement (Thursday November 26 pg ....)

THE government is to decentralise the public procurement process in order to favour the development of the small and medium-scale sectors through the Private Sector Development Strategy II (PSDS II).
Under the programme, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will receive technical support and capacity building, while an enabling environment will be created for the private sector to upgrade itself and have access to finance and ultimately create jobs.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Hannah Tetteh, made this known when the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), led by its Vice-President, Mr Affail Monney, paid a courtesy call on her to brief her on the findings of the BUSAC Fund, which is under the auspices of the GJA and is aimed at promoting SMEs in the country.
Ms Tetteh said decentralising the procurement process would make it possible for the government’s purchasing power to be felt throughout the country in order to deliver development across the country.
She stated that the National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI) would be strengthened to provide support for the SME sector through business development services in the most effective and controlled manner to achieve the purpose of such interventions.
She said the ministry was on track to provide solutions that were tailored towards the needs of the intended beneficiaries so that government programmes and policies were not carried out in vacuum.
She called for more interactions between businesses and the district assemblies under the Rural Enterprises Project so that the assemblies could provide assistance to micro businesses operating within their jurisdictions.
Ms Tetteh said policy making would improve if the media helped ascertain whether government policies actually benefited the intended target groups.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of KAB Governance Consult, Mr Kofi Afriyie Badu, who also doubles as the consultant on the project, said interactions with different stakeholders in the SME sector indicated that the NBSSI had not developed a system that allowed SMEs to input their activities into the board’s annual programmes.
He observed that although some financial institutions purported to roll out some packages for the SMEs, reports from some of the SMEs indicated that the packages were insufficient in responding to their needs and the environment.
He called for a review of the public procurement process to favour the development of the SME sector, adding that the existing framework was not SMEs-focused.
For his part, Mr Monney said the project was a healthy departure from the media’s passionate addiction to politics.
He noted that the research indicated that the media could play a very significant role in poverty reduction and job creation, adding that the GJA, in collaboration with the BUSAC Fund, would lead the way.
Present at the meeting was the BUSAC Project Manager, Dr Dale Rachmeler; the acting Director of MOTI, Mr Kofi Larbi, and the Secretary and Treasurer of the GJA, Mr Bright Blewu and Mrs Linda Asante Agyei, respectively.

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