11.03.2005 Regional News

Credit Union: positive contribution to national socio-economy

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Techiman (B/A), March 11, GNA - Mr Emmanuel Oduro Darko, General Manager of Ghana Co-operative Credit Union Association (CUA), has noted that the credit union system has significantly contributed to the overall socio-economic development of the country.

He said, while the impact was difficult to access in measurable ways, the CUA had continued to build the capacities of credit unions through leadership training, technical support and provision of essential services to promote and develop them to be able to meet future challenges.

Mr Darko was speaking at the 35th annual general meeting of the Abosomakotere Co-operative Credit Union of the Holy Family Hospital at Techiman in Brong Ahafo.

He said the multiple effects of development with respect to indirect employment and the government's efforts to absorb excess liquidity through savings had not been quantified.

"The credit union system has been employing people, apart from granting business loans to members, who are doing better than non-members", the general manager added. More

Mr Darko announced that as at June last year, there were 11 chapters with 250 credit unions, mostly at workplaces with the rest being community and parish types.

He asked the unions to move away from the traditional welfare clubs into real business entities capable of playing a major role in the socio-economic development of the society.

Mr Edward Opoku-Mensah, Brong Ahafo Regional Field Officer of CUA appealed to Bank of Ghana, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Parliament and other stakeholders to expedite action on the credit union bill to enable the credit unions to operate efficiently.

Mr Charles Muonah, Board Chairman, said the union had granted a total of 1.477 billion cedis in loans to more than 368 members for rent, transport, business, education, agriculture and housing activities. On financial investment, Mr Muonah said the union had invested 398,660 million cedis in treasury bills, with 71 million cedis and 68.9 million cedis in CUA Central Finance Facility and Bank Savings accounts respectively.

Presenting the accounts of the union, Nana Kingsley K. Kwarteng, Kintampo District Co-operative Officer said the union posted a net surplus of 114,464 million cedis as against 81.893 million cedis the previous year.

He said the union had failed to measure up to the CUA required minimum standard mark of 30 per cent on its interest earnings, which had recorded 25.44 per cent of the total average assets as cost of funds amounting to 94.7 million cedis, thereby declaring 259.7 million as total financial margin provision for loan losses.

The co-operative officer appealed to members to adjust an increase in their monthly contribution whenever there was salary increase to promote the union's growth.

Mr Prosper Aforbu, Manager of the Union called on the government to channel part of the Poverty Alleviation Fund through credit unions, which had been dealing directly with people in the rural areas. He called on the government to allow credit unions to have access to the National Insurance Scheme, as most of their members were not contributors to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

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