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29.10.2008 Business & Finance

Rural Banks disbursed 8,523,315 Ghana cedis to customers in Northern, Upper East Regions

By gna

Rural Banks in the Northern and Upper East Regions between the January and June this year, granted loans and salary advances totalling 8,523,315 Ghana Cedis to customers.

Seventy-five per cent of the loans and advances were disbursed as micro-finance, with the bulk of the money going to women groups.

Mr. John Asabigi, the President of the North-Eastern Chapter of the Association of Rural Banks, who announced these in Bolgatanga, said the banks made total deposits of 13,235,818 Ghana cedis, which was given out to enterprises and individuals.

He was speaking at the launch of the Rural Banking Week and World Thrift Day celebration, by the North-Eastern Chapter of the Association of Rural and Community Banks (RCBs).

The event that was under the theme "Rural Banking, A Novelty in Banking-The Way forward", was aimed at highlighting the contribution of the banks to national development and to educate the people on the need to cultivate the culture of saving.

Mr. Asabigi said apart from granting loans to customers, the banks had contributed to the development of education, health, sports in the regions.

He said the banks had contributed to poverty reduction through micro-financing and credit to customers.

Mr. Asabigi said there were only 10 rural banks in the Northern and Upper East Regions and blamed the situation on the minimum paid-up capital of 150,000 Ghana cedis required by the Bank of Ghana, unnecessary rivalries and conflicts in the communities.

He noted that rural and community banks played crucial role in national development and urged customers and other stakeholders to support the banks to enable them to meet the required minimum share capital.

He announced that the Bank of Ghana had pledged to computerize all operations of the banks under the Millennium Development Authority Project and also help join the e-zwich and other facilities associated with computerization.

Mr. Alhassan Samari, Upper East Regional Minister, commended the banks for helping to reduce poverty in the region.

"We all know income generating activities and businesses in general cannot flourish without the services of the RCBs".

Mr. Samari appealed to the banks to make it operations flexible to enable more customers transact businesses with them.

He Government had introduced a lot of financial policies towards the development of the rural areas in the country.

He cited the Micro-Finance and the Small Loan Scheme (MASLOC), the Venture Capital Trust Fund, which provide investment capital to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the country.