10.12.2005 Regional News

Banker urges Ghanaians to develop the culture of savings

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Elmina, Dec 10, GNA - Mr Samuel Tetteh Sackey, the General Manager of Kakum Rural Bank, has said the nation's desire to shift from the current debt driven development strategy to a savings led development strategy could only be possible if Ghanaians develop the culture of savings.

"It is therefore appropriate that we introduce the youth to the habit of thrift to inculcate the habit of savings for them to have a sound financial standing in future.''

Mr Sackey who was speaking on Friday at the commissioning of 4.1- billion-cedi office that will serve as the headquarters of the Kakum Rural Bank at Elmina, said the bank has introduced new products to encourage the youth to save with it. The bank has nine agencies in five districts of the Central Region.

He pledged that it would continue to assist fishermen, farmers, small-scale entrepreneurs and artisans to help improve the economic base of the area.

The acting Director of the Policy Analysis Division of the Ministry of Finance, Mr Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari, commended the bank for living up to its task.

He appealed to the bank to encouraged the board and management to do more to ensure that eradicating poverty was achieved and also urged rural banks to ensure that their staff were well trained to carry out their duties efficiently.

Prof Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, the Minister of Ports Harbours and Railways, commended the bank for withstanding competition from some giants in the banking industry to attain its envious position as the leading rural bank in the region.

He also commended it for computerizing most of its agencies to facilitate efficient banking and advised customers to use loans they secure judiciously for them to win the confidence of their bankers. The minister urged the board members not to put undue pressure on their managers for loans for "dangerous ventures" that will eventually put them in trouble.

Nana Kwamena Ansah III, the President of the Central Region House of Chiefs, said the bank, which has a total of 1,305 customers, has since 2003 increased its deposit from 15.6 to 22.8 billion cedis in 2004, while its profit which was 900 million has also shot to 1.4 billion cedis during the same period. At the function six students, some schools and the Paediatrics Department of the Central Regional Hospital received assistance worth 40 million cedis from the bank.