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08.08.2004 Business & Finance

Qualified people not serving on rural bank boards

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Tikobo No. 2 (w/r), Aug. 8, GNA - The Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank, Mr Emmanuel Kwapong said the unwillingness of qualified persons to serve as directors of rural banks was one of the greatest setbacks of rural banking in Ghana.

"Most qualified citizens from the catchment areas of rural banks show lack of interest to the extent that the progress of most rural banks are stifled," he stressed.

This was contained in a speech read on his behalf at the 10th Annual General Meeting of the Jomoro Rural Bank at Tikobo Number Two in the Western Region on Saturday.

Mr Kwapong, therefore appealed to people with the requisite skills, knowledge and competence to join in managing the bank to enable it realise its potentials.

He said, though any shareholder with five years in good standing with the bank, with at least s secondary school leaving certificate could become a director, that person must have some experience in Agriculture, Banking, Economics, Management, Law, Finance, Mathematics and any relevant discipline.

Mr Kwapong expressed regret that the operations of many rural banks are held back by manpower and management problems.

He cited inadequate capitalisation, weak internal controls, low calibre of management and the absence of organised cheque clearing systems as some of the major problems facing rural banking.

Nana Namoaka Arizie III, Board Chairman said the government's efforts at bringing down inflation coupled with the reduction of cost to the private sector, has adversely affected the operations of most rural banks.

"Most rural banks over relied on treasury bills as their main investment portfolio" he added.

He said these notwithstanding, the bank earned 2.68 billion cedis in 2003 as compared to 1.45 billion cedis in 2002.

He said commerce, benefited from 2.6 billion cedis, while the agricultural sector took 175 million cedis in 2003 as compared to 680 million and 41 million cedis in 2002 respectively.

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