Kumasi, Dec.12, GNA - The Government has provided 7.9 million dollars to the ARB Apex Bank for on-lend to rural and community banks to provide micro credit facilities to rural enterprises under the Community-Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP). Ninety-six rural and community banks throughout the country have agreed to participate in the project to enable them provide credit facilities to rural enterprises within their catchment's areas.
Mr Clement K. Nminibapiel, National Rural Enterprises Specialist at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, announced this at the signing ceremony of subsidiary loan agreement between the Bank and participating rural and community banks within the northern sector in Kumasi on Monday. He said CBRDP, a follow-up to the Village Infrastructure Project (VIP), was a major intervention by the Government to alleviate rural poverty and improve upon the income levels of the productive poor. Mr Nminibapiel said the overall goal of the project was to reduce poverty and enhance the quality of life of beneficiary communities. He said with the release of the funds the Government had strengthened the capital base of rural banks to enable them depart from lending and charging management fees. Mr Nminibapiel asked the participating banks to start processing applications within their areas to enable the beneficiaries' access the facility.
Mr R.M. Addo, Acting Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, said for rural banks to survive, micro finance should be properly structured with the requisite personnel to efficiently run the unit and treat customers with outmost care. He said CBRDP was one of the projects that had a lot of prospect for the banks, customers, communities and the nation. Mr Addo expressed regret about the delay in submitting report on micro finance schemes by rural and community banks and advised the participating banks to separate funds under the CBRDP from other micro finance schemes for easy reconciliation and reporting.