10.05.2005 Regional News

Open up to other members - Institutional Credit Unions urged

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Okumaning-Kade, May 10, GNA - Mr. Emmanuel Oduro Darko, General Manager of Credit Unions in Ghana has called on credit unions in institutions to open their doors for people outside their workplaces to join as members to improve their financial position. He noted that 30 per cent of loans to members go into education, 25 per cent into farming, 20 per cent into housing, 15 per cent into agriculture, 5 per cent into medical expenses while other expenses take 5 per cent.

Mr Oduro Darko stated that in order to meet loan request of members, there was the need for credit unions in institutions to increase their membership, to widen their capital base to be able to increase loans for projects.

Addressing the 17th annual general meeting of the University of Ghana Agricultural Research Centre's Credit Union at Okumaning-Kade, he said the membership of credit unions affected their capital base and assets and advised members to allow many people to join them. Mr Darko also advised workers to use their incomes wisely by contributing to their future sustenance.

He said the first credit union which was established 50 years ago at Jirapa in the Upper West Region, there were 250 unions now in the country out of which 140 were institution unions, 60 in villages and 50 in Churches with a total membership of 154,000. He advised union executives to attend the forth-coming National Credit Union's 50th anniversary scheduled for Jirapa.

Dr Godfried Kwaku Hotsonyame, Chairman of the Research Centre Union, said it was started with few people but with had a population of 160 with a capital base and total assets of 723,395,806.00 cedis. He said loans to members this year amounted to 418,200,000 cedis as against 301,020,000 cedis last year, adding that, the Union declared 12 per cent interest.

Dr Hotsonyame, who is also the head of the Research Centre, said it was the aim of the union to present at least quarterly financial statements to its members.

He said the various committees of the union also had to give periodic reports and stated that the union would intensify education on the financial obligations of members.

Mr Albert Yaw Ankomah, Eastern Regional Zonal Manager, advised the members to ensure internal controls and to increase their shares. Mr Nelson Coffie, Chairman of the Eastern Regional Chapter of Credit Unions, advised the members to contribute towards the building of the regional secretariat.

Professor Kwame Afreh-Nuamah, Acting Director of the University of Ghana Agricultural Research Institute, advised the members to think of their future and to contribute towards their socio-economic advancement and that of their families and the country.

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