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07.07.2008 Business & Finance

Susu collectors call for formal recognition

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Mr Elvis Aboagye Manu, President of the Ghana Cooperative Susu Collectors Union (GCSCA), on Monday called for their recognition by the government to ensure sanity in their operations.
Mr Manu made the call at a press briefing to inform and educate the
public about susu collection while encouraging people to do business with
Susu collection involves individuals saving outside the banking system
to enable them to invest in projects, promote their welfare by way of business expansion, child education, funeral organization and other ventures where lump sums are needed.
The system usually involves individuals who go round to collect money from market women and other small-scale business personnel.
He stressed the need for institutional support to ensure that the country had an effective informal financial sector as well as being able to develop structures and a well-defined code of conduct among their members.
"We provide a unique informal financial service to, especially the informal sector operators for a small commission and also offer informal means for Ghanaians to save and access their own savings," he said.
Mr. Manu also raised concern about the image of susu collection saying they were worried about newspaper reports that some susu collectors were involved in scams to rob operators in the informal sector of their income.
He said they had put in place software to monitor members so that the public would continue to trust their operations.
"Some stationery business enterprises like communication centres and barbers' saloons are also opening their windows for doing susu business which is affecting the operations of the members of the association," he said.
Mr Manu said the organization was championing the promotion of an all-encompassing regulatory environment through advocacy action with support from the Business Advocacy Challenge Fund.
The advocacy, he said, would help them control and formally regulate and supervise the activities of susu collectors.
He noted that susu collection in Ghana had taken a new dimension with banks like Barclays Bank, Women's World Banking and Ecobank among others assisting them to do on-lending for small-scale businesses at a low interest rate.
The susu association in Ghana has also been provided funds by the Micro and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC).
Mr Manu announced that the Association had signed on to a micro insurance scheme to insure their members in the case of accident, robbery or death.
He called on the general public to renew their trust in the susu business because it was genuine, safe and easy to deal with.

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