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14.12.2007 Business & Finance

Dormaa Teachers' credit union increases assets


Dormaa Teachers Cooperative Credit Union's total assets stood at 6.76 billion cedis as at June 30 this year, an increase of 50 percent over last year's figure of 4.5 billion cedis.

Membership also jumped from 870 to 1,224, representing 36.7 percent increase and exceeding a projected 30 percent growth.

Mr. Amo-Owusu Budu, chairman of board of directors, disclosed at the Union's Annual General Meeting at Dormaa-Ahenkro.

He said the volume of share capital had also made a 72 percent increase from 399 million cedis to 584 million cedis over the period while shares yielded a total dividend of 79.6 million cedis.

Mr. Budu said a loan of 4.1 billion cedis had been granted to members to finance educational, health, transport and other small and medium scale businesses.

He attributed the successes to an intensive education, pragmatic membership drive and staff commitment supported by members' compliance with the rules and regulations.

Mr. Budu however, noted that the union had also gone through several challenges that required collective and strenuous efforts to overcome.

“Among the challenges are loan delinquency, abysmal low savings by members and the problem of members who went on transfer to other parts of the country while owing loans to the union”, he said.

The board chairman gave the assurance that management of the union was working to minimize the impact of the challenges on its operations.

He announced that a management meeting would be held in March next year to discuss the possibility of expediting action on a seven-product agenda towards making life better for members.

Among the products to be discussed are an “Own Your Own House” policy, opening of new branches at Wamfie and Nkrankwanta, the establishment of a youth savings programme and the compulsory inclusion of members on the National Health Insurance Scheme.

Mr. Fidelis Bazaanah, Deputy General Manager for Credit Union Association of Ghana, in a keynote address debunked the belief that only the rich and business magnates in society could make savings, saying the low public consciousness about savings was due to the inexplicable fear and ignorance among Ghanaians.

“Any credit union member who remains in abject poverty after a year's transaction with the associations will be due to either non-compliance with the rules of the game or not serious”, he emphasized.

The deputy general manager said experience had revealed that Ghanaians had the tendency to adjust their allocations earmarked for savings during emergencies instead of allocations for social events such as weddings, parties and funerals.

Mr. Bazaanah advised against the practice and urged credit union members to take their savings seriously as no amount of savings would be too small or too big.

Barima Boabasa Oppong Yaw Ababio, Gyeasehene for Dormaa traditional council who presided, charged cooperative credit unions in Dormaa district to widen their membership net to cover all manner of workers, some of whom he said felt the size of their businesses did not qualify them to become members.

He recommended an intensive door-to-door campaign to help such people to get enrolled into what he described as “the big family”.

The union presented 10 bags of cement to Dormaa Presbyterian Hospital towards the construction of its 50th anniversary eye clinic.