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19.10.2003 Regional News

Pupils fail to utilise Rural Bank's scholarship package

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Abokobi (G/R), Oct. 19, GNA - A three million-cedi scholarship package for Junior Secondary School pupils in the Abokobi Traditional Area by the Abokobi Area Rural Bank has not been utilised for the past two years.

Mr Sam Clegg, Board Chairman of the Bank, who disclosed the 11th Annual General Meeting of the Bank at Abokobi near Accra on Saturday, expressed disappointment at the poor standard of education in the area. He said only two students had been able to access the scholarship "as students fail to attain the requirement of seven aggregate ones out of ten subjects at the Basic Examination Certificate Education (BECE) level".

The Bank has resolved to spend three million cedis on a qualified student for the three-year duration at the Senior Secondary School level.

Mr Clegg, a veteran Journalist said in view of the development, the Bank has introduced and sponsored extra classes for all Junior Secondary School pupils at Danfa and Abokobi, pay the weekly allowances of teachers who participate in the programme as well as the provision of textbooks for the pupils.

Mr Clegg, who was the former General Manager of Ghana News Agency, urged parents and teachers to encourage their wards and pupils to take advantage of the offer.

He said the 2002 fiscal year was a difficult one as its major source of income and discount from Treasury Bills slumped to as low as 20 per cent.

But through prudential banking practices and the diversification of its sources of income, a healthy profit after tax of 254 million cedis was recorded as compared with 313 million cedis in 2001.

Investment raised from 2,091,600,000.00 cedis in December 2001 to 3,319,350,000.00 cedis in December 2002 a 58.6 per cent increment. Loans and Overdrafts went up from 540.9 million cedis to 1.18 billion cedis representing 118.7 per cent, while deposit showed a significant growth from 2.55 billion to 4.39 billion cedis representing 71.7 per cent.

The statistics also indicated that both salaried and non-salaried customers were granted loans and overdrafts up to 1,265,849,255.20 cedis.

The bank's records also showed significant performance of its net worth, raising from 541.5 million in 2001 to 803.8 million cedis in 2002.

Mr Clegg said as a result of the vigorous programme of diversification embarked upon by the bank, it has now recorded a pre-audit profit of 413 million cedis from January to September 2003. The Board Chairman commended shareholders who passed a resolution last year to convert the 2001 dividends into additional share purchase. This singular action, Mr Clegg said, enabled the Bank to reach Bank of Ghana's stated minimum share capital requirement of 100 million cedis shares.

Mr Clegg warned staff bank against any financial deal, as punitive measures would be taken against them.

"The board is determined to instil discipline among members of staff and therefore anybody caught indulging in any fraudulent activity would be handed over to the law enforcement agencies."

Mr Kofi Nyame of Amponsah-Kwaaning & Associates, who presented the audited account commended the Bank for complying with the companies code, 1963 and the Banking Law 1989 (PNDCL 225). He commended the Manager, Mr Samuel Dsane and staff for adhering to modern banking practices, which had transformed the fortunes of Bank.

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