BECI extends P1bn guarantee scheme deadline

Dark days: Main Mall during last yearu00e2u20acu2122s lockdown. Businesses are still struggling to recover PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Dark days: Main Mall during last yearu00e2u20acu2122s lockdown. Businesses are still struggling to recover PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

Botswana Export Credit Insurance (BECI) has extended the rollout of the government’s P1 billion loan guarantee scheme to March 31, 2022, after financing more than P100 million worth of guarantees.

Last year government through BECI rolled out the scheme to the private sector as part of a range of COVID-19 interventions aimed at helping businesses.

The aim of the scheme was to encourage bank lending to qualifying businesses by offering a partial government guarantee of 80% to commercial banks and banks established by Botswana legislation. The banks shall retain the remainder of 20% of the risk of the financial facility.

The scheme is part of government interventions valued at about P5 billion, which include the wage subsidy and tax relief amongst others. BECI, a government-owned credit insurance firm, is tasked with administering the loan guarantee scheme.

This week, BECI managing director, Cowell Habana said they decided to extend the deadline for the guarantee after establishing that the effects of COVID-19 continue to cripple the economy.

Initially, BECI had expected to close applications for the loan guarantee scheme in November last year.

“We realised that the COVID-19 will not end soon and the damage continues hence why it is important for the scheme to continue,” he told BusinessWeek.

“We also continue receiving applications from businesses that seek assistance through their banks as some industries are still affected by the pandemic.”

 Habana said most applications are from the agricultural industry followed by tourism and hospitality noting that these are the most affected.

Applications are done through local banks, which signed an agreement with BECI last year as the facility was launched. Scheme guidelines can be accessed through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development as well as BECI.

“I therefore urge the business community to take advantage of this initiative.

“If the situation continues to worsen, we will have to review the deadline again because the scheme seeks to give a financial boost to affected businesses,” Habana added.

Editor's Comment
No one should be spared in COVID-19 fight

However, there are already reported incidents of some outlets flouting COVID-19 regulations issued by government. Government and the public have condemned such actions and further reiterated the fact that entertainment events, which have been deemed as having ‘higher-risk’ of spreading COVID-19, are not allowed.The police have reportedly charged violators a paltry P5,000 each. But these are big businesses that make millions of pula when...

Have a Story? Send Us a tip
arrow up