From left to right Prof. John Aheto and Darlene McGregor during the ceremony

Professor John Aheto, a lecturer at the Ghana School of Law, has described Government as the worst enemy of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.

Speaking at the official opening of the 3rd Ghana SME EXPO yesterday in Accra themed: ?Empowering SMEs through finance and knowledge,? Prof Aheto said Government had hampered the growth of SMEs due to its failure to promptly pay SMEs.

In an interview with BUSINESS GUIDE during the opening ceremony, the law lecturer hinted that it takes between two and three years for Government to pay SMEs.

?The delay leads to SMEs borrowing monies at exorbitant rates between 32 and 40 percent in a year to run their projects,? he added.

Prof. Aheto said the delay on the part of Government in paying SMEs had caused tremendous losses to them.

?The profit they make goes into the payment of interest. And 32 percent a year over three years is a huge amount. That means, all the profits SMEs make go to financial institutions who offer them loans,? he indicated.

Furthermore, he told BUSINESS GUIDE that SMEs borrow loans to pay their workers as a result of government?s posture.

He also cited the failure of Trade Minister Haruna Iddrisu to officially open the 3rd Ghana SME EXPO for unknown reasons as an indication of Government?s lack of commitment to the promotion of SMEs in the country.

The Events Director of OML Africa, Paul Asinor, in a speech, said Business Sense, a business networking session, which runs alongside the SME Expo, offered the unique opportunity for exhibitors to meet potential investors, generate new business leads and build their networks.

Darlene McGregor, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of 15 Years Young, a Canadian firm, in a speech, said Ghana has the highest number of educated people in world who are jobless.

The Ghana SMEs Expo began in February 7, 2011.

The second event was held on January 1, 2012.

 By Melvin Tarlue

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