` Dormaa-Ahenkro (B/A) Feb. 16, GNA - Dormaa district teachers' co-operative credit union made a net profit of 169.5 million cedis during the 2004/2005 year of operations. Membership of the union increased from 804 in 2004 to 893 while total assets of 1.9 billion cedis in 2004 also made an upward surge by 77 per cent to 3.5 billion cedis.
Mr. Amo-Owusu Budu, chairman of board of directors disclosed this at the union's sixth annual general meeting at Dormaa-Ahenkro to appraise performance and to identify anomalies for rectification. He said total shares in the year under review also moved up by 50.9 percent from 123.4 million cedis in 2004 to 196.2 million with some individual shareholders owning as much as five million cedis in shares. The board chairman said the union granted 2.7 billion cedis in loans to 514 members to enable them to improve existing projects or to establish new ones in housing, education, health, agriculture, transport and business.
Mr. Budu announced that as part of its social obligation in its area of operations, the union presented some items to the children's ward of the Presbyterian hospital at Dormaa Ahenkro as well as a refrigerator to Dormaa district directorate of education during the period under review.
He said the union had acquired a plot of land for the construction of its own offices at Dormaa-Ahenkro and that members had given approval for part of the net profit for the period under review to be used to commence construction work. The board chairman expressed regret about the relatively high rate of non-payment of loans among members and urged them to improve the current level of loan repayment.
Mr. Edward Opoku Mensah, Brong-Ahafo Field Officer of Credit Union Association of Ghana noted that credit unions had over the years made immense contributions towards the over-all socio-economic development of the country.
He announced that the credit union system had more than 550 employees in the country, while statistics showed that as at 2004 there were 250 credit unions, which had 145,000 members with a total deposit of 314 billion cedis, a loan component of 262 billion cedis and overall assets of 348 billion cedis.
The regional field officer commended the union for allowing staff of other decentralized departments in the district into their fold and attending annual general meetings regularly.
Squadron Leader Benjamin Anane Asamoah (rtd), Dormaa District Chief Executive, noted that the importance of credit unions to the government's poverty reduction strategies could not be over-emphasised. "For me, the activities of the credit unions provide the basis for the realization of the objectives of the Ghana Poverty Alleviation Strategy, which seeks, in the main, to create wealth through employment or job creation", the DCE added.
He said it was against this background that the government had vested interest in the efficient and effective management of all credit unions and indeed all other groups who supported micro-credit schemes to improve the lot of Ghanaians.
Squadron Leader Anane Asamoah called on boards of directors and other executive committees of credit unions to work hard enough to support more members by offering them credit facilities. Highlights of the annual general meeting included solidarity messages by sister unions from Goaso, Berekum and Wenchi and a presentation of a cheque for one million cedis by the union towards this year's science, technology and mathematics education (STME) clinic in the district.