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18.04.2004 Business & Finance

BOG urged to check setting of rural banks

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Kumasi, April 18, GNA - An appeal has been made to the Bank of Ghana (BOG) to institute more stringent measures to help check the opening up of Branches and Agencies by Rural banks in the urban centres. Mr. Opoku Agyemang Prempeh, Executive President of the Centre for moral Education (CEMED), an NGO, with a mission of instilling in the youth moral discipline, who made the appeal, said unless the BOG institutes more stringent measures, many rural banks will eventually establish themselves permanently in the urban centres to the neglect of the rural communities.

Mr.Prempeh made the appeal when he addressed the first meeting of the CEMED for this year in Kumasi on Saturday

He noted that even though the BOG had guidelines for opening up of rural bank Branches and Agencies in urban centres, most rural banks continue to flout the procedure, saying "it is only very stringent measures that can now check them".

He said since the mission for establishment of rural banks is to help rural communities have access to affordable financial support, to help them develop and alleviate poverty, it is imperative for the banks to concentrate their activities in the rural settings, rather than moving to the urban centres.

Mr. Prempeh regretted that even though a majority of the small-scale farmers and artisans "were in dire need of assistance from rural banks, the banks seem not to be making enough efforts at assisting them."

He urged rural banks not to only take interest in profits but also be concerned with properly assisting the poor rural dwellers to improve and expand their ventures.

"The rural banks should start by encouraging the organisation of farmers into co-operatives, to enable them as a body to easily access funds from the banks".

He also suggested that rural banks should collaborate with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to help create ready market for produce of the farmers.

Mr. Prempeh stated that such initiatives would help improve the economic status of rural inhabitants and thereby help them live lives that would not end up pushing them to engage in social vices and immoral acts for their survival.

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