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18.10.2005 Regional News

Channel poverty alleviation fund through CUA - Dr Fokuo

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Kumasi, Oct 18, GNA - The government has been urged to channel poverty alleviation funds through the Credit Union Association of Ghana (CUA) to ensure the success of the programme. Dr Yaw Dwomo Fokuo, President of the Ashanti Chapter of CUA, who made the call, said the programme was not making any impact because of the way it was being operated.

He stated that because the funds were being channelled through district assemblies their disbursement go to party members who regard the money as rewards for their services. Dr Fokuo pointed out that credit unions were in a better position to disburse them and called on the government to take a second look at the management of the funds.

He was addressing the fifth annual general meeting of the Ramseyer Co-operative Credit Union in Kumasi on Sunday, on the theme, "Co-operative Credit Union - Tool for Poverty Alleviation". Dr Fokuo regretted that because some board members of credit unions did not know their functions properly they allowed managers to run the unions as they pleased and asked them to hold regular meetings to find out about the day-to-day activities of the unions. He called on credit unions to honour their social responsibilities in the communities they operated and to give their members simple training in marketing to enable them to sell their goods. The Ashanti Chapter President stressed the need for Parliament to pass the Co-operative bill to facilitate the operation of Co-operative Credit Unions.

Mr P A Appiah-Fei, President of the Ramseyer Credit Union, said the union, which started operations in 1992, now had 600 members. He said the union had a total income of 559.340 billion cedis this year as compared to 367.527 billion cedis in 2004 while its net surplus, rose from 50.791 million cedis in 2004 to 93.829 million cedis within the same period.

Mr Appiah-Fei said the union was enforcing the purchase of shares up to 200,000 cedis as contained in the CUA regulations. He said the Board had projected a savings of 415 billion cedis by the end of 2006 and charged members to make a minimum monthly savings of 50,000 cedis each.