…Flood & Fire Disaster Victims Cautioned!
By Alfred Dogbey
Hundreds of flood and fire disaster victims, mostly market women, who have been supported with the Micro-finance and Small Loans Center (MASLOC) loan, have been cautioned not to misuse the money for party and merrymaking during the Homowo celebration.
According to management of MASLOC, the loan facility which is a revolving fund, is only given to traders as a start up cash for their businesses and to recoup their losses and pay back for others to benefit, but not money meant for merrymaking.
The striking warning, was giving to the beneficiaries last Thursday and Friday when officials of MASLOC, led by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sedina Christine Attionu Tamakloe, disbursed a whopping GH¢ 1,032,800 to disaster victims at the Odorna Pedestrian Mall Market, Kantamanto Market, Tema Community 1 Market, Teshie Market and Nungua Market.
Madam Sedina Attionu, who addressed the beneficiaries at each market place the disbursement was done, said the loan was not freebies, but rather it should be used for the purpose for which they have requested the money for.
The ongoing disbursement exercise, which has been carried out in the various major markets in the whole of Accra as part of government’s intervention efforts and specially arranged by the First Lady, Lordina Mahama and the President, has been profoundly commended by the traders.
The loan, according to MASLOC, the beneficiaries will take a grace period of two-month before they start repayment and will use a lengthy duration of twelve months to pay, instead of the traditional one month grace period and six month deadline given by most financial institutions.
She explained that, the decision to make the loan flexible for the victims, became necessary, due to the peculiar nature of the disaster and how it has affected and destroyed their goods and properties, and therefore, the need to have patience for them in order to re-organize themselves and bounce back into business.
At the Odorna Pedestrian Mall Market located at Circle, the traders who stormed the disbursement centre, heavily crowded the ceremony amidst jubilation.
Three leaders of the traders union, Madam Veronica Boakye, Seth Opoku and Charles Kwaku, who received the cheque on behalf of the beneficiaries, told The Herald that, they never believed such a gesture would come to them when the First Lady visited them after the disaster incident and promised them of government’s support.
Showering blessings upon the First Lady, the President John Dramani Mahama and the government, the traders noted that, no successive government has ever recognized them as Ghanaian by attempting to assist them during a crucial moment like this, even though they have suffered similar fate since they began trading at the Odorna Market.
At Kantamato, the popular second-hand clothes market, Chairman of the traders, Mr. Kwadwo Ansong and his Secretary, Mr. Evans Ofori Atta said, they were particularly happy due to the timely nature of the loan, cheaper interest rate and how the repayment has been structured.
Madam Mley Charway, an elderly woman and Chairperson of Tema Community 1 Tomatoes Sellers Association, who could not contain her joy, pledged to vote for President Mahama, until his eight years term expires.
The MASLOC boss, was accompanied by the Head of Operation, Daniel Axim, Greater Accra Regional Manager, Mr. Shadrach Quarcoo, the Media Liaison Officer, Ms Fadila Mumuni and others.
Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for (MP) Ledzokuku and Deputy Minister for Fisheries, Mrs. Benita Okiti-Duah, has charged her constituents who have benefited from the loan to use the money judiciously.
Addressing the Teshie Laskala Market and Teshie Market ‘B’ traders, the MP said, beneficiaries should not think that the money was coming from the government and, therefore, misuse it.
She also warned the traders not to politicize the loan offer, because when the disaster occurred, it didn’t look for the political color of individuals. Therefore, people who intend to play politics with such a laudable offer, should desist from it.