A Financial Accountant and Venture Researcher,Mr Michael Essel-Mills has hailed the appointment of the new Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF) by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The seasoned Broadcaster commended the President for making such an appointment at a time of small businesses makeovers across the country , adding it is "timely and a dawn of new hope for the fund and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises(SMEs) in Ghana".
The appointment of the new CEO of VCTF, Nana Yaw Owusu-Brempong has been described as the best choice with optimism that it will go a long way to re-establish the fund as the apex provider of long term equity capital for businesses in Ghana.
The CEO is a seasoned insurer and financial administration expert.
Mr. Essel-Mills indicated that the "knowledge about the fund especially within the Ashanti Region was very low and therefore recommends that, an integrated and comprehensive communication strategy must be adopted to bring the activities of the fund closer to businesses in the region" he said on 'Daybreak' on Kumasi based Kapital Radio,
He expressed worry over the centralization of Venture Capital Financing Firms in the Greater Accra Region.
The researcher said efforts must be made by the Trust Fund to equip and encourage VC firms to set up working branches in the other regions to deepen the presence of the fund.
On recent development concerning some shady deals involving some managers of the trust that has led to about GHC 32m missing, he was livid how public officials take undue advantage of the system to short-change unsuspecting Ghanaians.
He minced no words to encourage the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) to get to the bottom of the matter and punish officers who are found culpable.
It will be recalled that the BNI has begun scrutinizing circumstances that led to the siphoning of several millions of Ghana Cedis by certain officials out of the fund through the Development Assistance Fund (DAF) and the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) created under the VCTF to give funding access to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
Essel Mills insisted that the allocation of the GHC 217m under the current budget is a step in a right direction.
He has also called for a concerted effort between the new CEO and his management team to identify those businesses that are genuinely in need of such equity capital and assist them since private sector plays a pivotal role in any modern economy as far as job creation was concern.
The Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF) in Ghana was established in 2004 through an Act of Parliament (VCTF Act 680).
The Fund was intended to provide low-cost financing to small and medium enterprises so as to enable them to expand, create wealth and jobs.
It does this by providing credit and equity financing to eligible Venture Capital Finance Companies to support SMEs and also provide resources to support the activities and plug-ins for the promotion of venture capital financing as the Board may determine in consultation with the Finance Minister.