The Micro-Finance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) has presented a cheque for GH¢1 million to the fire victims of the Darkuman Kokompe Spare Parts Market in Accra.
A total of 210 spare parts dealers whose wares were destroyed by the fire a month ago are to benefit from the loan. The loan, which is to be paid within 12 months with a two-month grace period, attracts a total of 24 per cent interest.
The release of the loan followed a directive by the Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, to MASLOC to assist the fire victims to get back to business. That was when he led a government delegation to make a donation of roofing sheets, pieces of wood, bags of cement and nails to the victims a month ago.
Fire gutted more than 4,000 shops at the market a month ago, destroying vehicles, spare parts and other items running into thousands of Ghana cedis. No life was lost.
Presenting the cheque, the Chief Executive Officer of MASLOC, Ms Bertha Ansah-Djan, said the spare parts dealers played a crucial role in terms of selling vehicle spare parts to many Ghanaians.
Therefore, she said, the extension of the loan was to help the fire victims to re-start and grow their businesses so they could continue to serve the people. Ms Ansah-Djan asked the spare parts dealers to build their stores in concrete to prevent or mitigate the effect of fire outbreaks.
She stressed the need for them to insure their wares to enable them to get some assistance to re-start business in the event of any loss of property. She urged the expected beneficiaries, who had been constituted into 10-member groups, to try to repay their loans on time.
The Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Alfred Vanderpuije, said the presentation of the cheque was a testimony of the Better Ghana Agenda, which sought to improve the living standards of the people.
He charged the spare dealers to continue to maintain the standards that had enabled them to secure the loans, since that was the only way that they could grow their businesses. Mr Vanderpuije stressed that many Ghanaians depended on them for spare parts and asked them to be “responsible in their operations”.
The Chairman of the Kokompe Spare Parts Dealers Association, Mr Kingsley Anane Yeboah, thanked the government for the prompt manner it facilitated the release of the loans.
He said the loans would assist the fire victims to get back to business, and gave an assurance that those who would benefit from the facility would repay the loans promptly.
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