Parliament’s Finance Committee has urged the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (Masloc) to improve upon its loan recovery rate, which declined from 64 percent to 55 percent between 2017 and 2019.
The committee made the recommendation in its report on the budget performance of the Office of Government Machinery for the 2019 financial year, which was debated in Parliament on Thursday.
Masloc is an agency under the Office of Government Machinery that provides loans and microcredit facilities to small businesses. The agency provides cash loans and asset finance arrangements to start-ups and also helps existing small businesses with capital for expansion.
Since its establishment in 2006, Masloc has been one of the government’s vehicles for supporting job creation and improved livelihoods, especially as small businesses dominate the private sector of the economy.
The centre disbursed a total of GH¢99m as loans and towards projects in 2019, according to the Finance Committee’s report. In all, the centre disbursed more than GH¢115m to 97,195 beneficiaries over the past three years.
Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, the chairman of the committee, said Masloc plays an important role in small business financing and encouraged its managers to ensure the centre’s sustainability by improving loan recovery and the organisation’s overall management.
Contributing to the debate on the report, the MP for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, suggested that Masloc should be placed under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, instead of it remaining under the Office of Government Machinery, to help improve its accountability.
Joining the debate on a controversial note, Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, called for a parliamentary probe of the CEO of Masloc, Stephen Amoah, and his deputy, Abibata Shani Mahama Zakariah, who were candidates in the ruling New Patriotic Party’s June parliamentary primaries in the Nhyiaeso and Yendi constituencies, respectively.
Mr. Iddrisu, who is the MP for Tamale South, said the two should be probed for allegedly engaging in vote-buying during the primaries.
Neither Mr. Amoah nor Ms. Zakariah were available to respond to the allegation.