03.05.2005 Regional News

OMA to recover one billion cedis from loan defaulters

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Obuasi, May 3, GNA - The Obuasi Municipal Assembly (OMA) is to recover over one billion cedis from beneficiaries of the Assembly's Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF) and that of Senior Minister's HIPC fund. Under the two interventions, a total of 1.2 billion cedis were disbursed to the beneficiaries out of which, only 116.8 million cedis had been recovered.

Mr Joseph Kwadwo Boampong, the acting Municipal Chief Executive, who announced these at the general meeting of the Assembly at Obuasi said, "prudent and pragmatic measures should be put in place to quickly recover all outstanding loans from defaulters".

Under the Senior Minister's HIPC fund, the Assembly disbursed a total of 950.4 million cedis to 89 co-operative groups in the areas of President's Special Initiative (PSI) on cassava, maize cultivation, piggery and grass-cutter rearing, vegetable and marketing of food crops. The assembly, under the PAF provided a total of 254.6 million cedis to the beneficiaries with 10 per cent interest rate but so far only 79.3 million cedis had been recovered.

"This leaves us with a colossal sum of 175.2 million cedis to be paid back by beneficiaries. This situation is quite unacceptable, since it is supposed to be a revolving fund", Mr Boampong said.

The acting MCE explained that the Senior Minister's HIPC fund was part of government's programme to support small-scale peasant farmers but regretted that some farmers were abusing the privilege.

"Regrettably, as at December 31, 2004, the banks had been able to recover only 37.470 million cedis leaving as such as 912.930 million cedis in arrears due for payment", he said.

Mr Boampong said the recovery rate was just 3.9 per cent, which called for stringent measures to retrieve all the monies sunk into the programme.

"Beneficiaries should be cautioned that the loans were not father Christmas bonuses and that all measures would be put in place to ensure maximum recovery", the acting MCE stressed.

The Assembly, following a suggestion from a member directed the Municipal Co-operative Officer to submit the names of the co-operative groups that benefited from the Senior Minister's HIPC fund to the Assembly.

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