10.03.2005 Regional News

University of Ghana Commissions Credit Union Building

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Accra, March 10, GNA - Professor Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, on Thursday said the low interest rate paid by the banks on savings was a deterrent to savings. He said the poor culture of savings by the public could be linked to the low interest rate of eight per cent paid on savings compared to about 28 to 30 per cent borrowing rate charged by the banks. "On the whole, Ghana's bank charges are high when compared to charges imposed by banks operating in the rest of Africa as well as in USA and UK," he said, adding that this had resulted in a number of people investing in other areas.

Professor Asenso-Okyere said this when he commissioned the new Co-operative Credit Union Office of the University of Ghana in Accra. The 1.1 billion-cedi Office has a Conference Room, Board Room, a customer service hall and a Committee Room.

About 2,800 workers out of the total workforce of 4,000 of the University of Ghana are members of the Union.

The Vice Chancellor said Credit Unions could improve upon the situation by moving to a non-bank financial institution such as Savings and Loans Organisation and finally into a bank when the capital base expanded.

The Vice Chancellor said with the completion of a permanent office, the Union could increase its membership by encouraging savings among small savers like students.

He said workers should make the effort to save, whilst working in order to have something to depend on during retirement, adding that, this would ensure a better standard of living.

Mr. Emmanuel O. Darko, General Manager of the Ghana Co-operative Credit Unions Association (CUA) Ltd, said the unions offered services to about 154,000 members with savings of about 365 billion cedis. He said the figure could increase if Ghanaians developed a culture of savings rather than to consume their income and start all over again. He added that all workers, including artisans, should save to improve their lot.

Mr. Darko said the Union, which would celebrate its Golden Jubilee this year, would establish a deposit guarantee and ensure that all unions abided by the performance standards to bring sanity into their operations.

Mrs Victoria Akweley Codjoe, Chairperson of the Management Board of the University of Ghana Co-op Credit Union, thanked all those who contributed to the construction of the building as well as past and current leaders.

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