The Rural Enterprises Programme (REP) has presented Nissan Pickup vehicles to the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and GRATIS Foundation to help strengthen their supervision and monitoring activities.
The four brand new vehicles, valued at $25,000 each, were presented to the two organisations by Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah in Accra.
The Trade and Industry Minister explained that the vehicles were being provided to NBSSI and GRATIS Foundation because of the critical role they play in the implementation of the Rural Enterprises Programme as key implementing partners. NBSSI is the implementing partner for the Business Development Services component of the Programme which is delivered through 161 District Business Advisory Centers (BACs) jointly established by REP, NBSSI and the Municipal/District Assemblies. GRATIS Foundation on the other hand is a key implementing partner for the Agricultural Commodity Processing Infrastructure Development (Technology Promotion and Dissemination) component. The component is primarily delivered through Rural Technology Facilities which are also set up jointly by REP, GRATIS and District Assemblies. Currently, 21 RTFs have been setup nationwide with 15 more to be established by 2020.
Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah said the vehicles are to be used primarily in the monitoring and supervision of BACs and RTFs to ensure that they effectively and efficiently deliver on their individual mandates in their respective districts. He charged the two institutions to ensure the judicious use of the vehicles.
Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, explained that REP, which is estimated at $193 million programme was put together by the Government with funding from the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the African Development Bank to guide Ghanaians to start and grow their own businesses. He said the REP is part of the efforts of Government to reduce poverty and improve living conditions in the rural areas, slow rural-urban drift and contribute to the creation of sustainable jobs.
The National Director of REP, Mr. Kwasi Attah-Antwi, mentioned that REP has, since 1995, been partnering NBSSI and GRATIS Foundation to address the challenges of business establishment and growth through skills training, transfer of technology and other relevant support services at the district level. He added that REP will support the NBSSI and GRATIS to achieve their mandate as indicated in the MTR recommendations.
The Board Chairman of GRATIS Foundation, Mr David B. Atugiya, expressed his appreciation to the Rural Enterprises Programme for the kind gesture. He mentioned that the two vehicles received by GRATIS would go a long way to enhance activities and help in the effective discharge of GRATIS role in the implementation of the Programme.
The Executive Director of NBSSI, Mr Lukman Abdul-Rahim, also expressed gratitude to REP and the Ministry for the gesture. He pledged that his outfit will use the vehicles for their intended purposes.