It has been detected that applicants with fictitious data, documents and personal details were among those who applied for the special fund, set up by the government to cushion small and medium scale businesses from the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Data from the National Board and Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) showed that 5,200 out of a total of 450,000 applicants presented fake documentations to benefit from the GH¢1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) business support scheme.
As a result, the NBSSI, together with the CAP Steering Committee, has extended the deadline for applications from June 20 to June 26, 2020, to enable it to address all fraud-related cases before the fund will be disbursed.
The Executive Director of NBSSI, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, who made this known at a press conference in Accra last Friday, said some of the fraud cases detected had been forwarded to security agencies for investigations.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh further explained that the analysis would allow them to detect those using fictitious documentations such as fraudulent tax identification number (TIN), contact numbers and same account numbers.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh further explained that the extension of the deadline was as a result of varied concerns raised by some trade and business associations asking for more time to enable some of their members to submit their applications.
The CAP Business Support Scheme was instituted by the government to provide support to MSMEs negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Launched on May 19, 2020 by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, its implementation was fast-tracked to ensure that MSMEs, which are the backbone of the economy, access the fund in a timely manner.