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20.03.2005 Regional News

Ahantaman Rural Bank gives less credit to Cottage Industries and Agriculture

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Agona Nkwanta (W/R) March 20, GNA - The Ahantaman Rural Bank made a net profit before tax of 2.120 billion cedis in 2003 as against 1.565 billion cedis in 2002. The profit for 2003 represents 35.47per cent increase over the profit for last year.

The bank also granted loans and overdrafts totalling 5.5 billion cedis representing 67.1 percent during the period under review as against 3.9 billion cedis in 2002.

Nana Ato Gyan II, Board Chairman of the bank, disclosed this at the 20th anniversary celebrations of the bank and its 16th annual general meeting held at Agona Nkwanta on Saturday.

He said the Agricultural sector received 6.4 per cent while cottage industry received 2.7 per cent.

Ahantaman's Scholarship scheme for brilliant but needy students received 10.4 million cedis while 65.3 million cedis were spent on other community projects.

Nana Gyan said each shareholder would receive 100 cedis per share, while each member would receive an additional 50 percent shares each. Mr. Emmanuel Asiedu-Mantey, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana said internal controls should be strictly enforced to avoid "tragic disasters" associated with poor internal controls.

He appealed to the management of rural banks to increase the paid up capital and earnings of shareholders to improve on their funds. "Adopt measures to effectively mobilise excess resources that are held outside the banking system, adding this could be done through the introduction of attractive packages and products," he stressed. He reminded management and shareholders to ensure that board members have the requisite professional qualification and practical banking experiences.

Mr. Kwesi Biney, District Chief Executive for Ahanta West said since agriculture constitute the greatest source of income and food for a lot of Ghanaians, the bank, must pay special attention to the Agricultural and Cottage industries sector.

He said these two sectors had the potential to transform the economy of every district and efforts must be made to assist such people. Mr. Biney urged the management to increase the scholarship benefits to the students to enable more people from the district who are brilliant but needy to have access, improve themselves and assist in the development of the district.

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