Techiman, March 31, GNA - Mr Rafuis Tetteh, Brong-Ahafo Regional Co-operative Officer, has called on credit unions to move away from the traditional welfare club system into real business entities capable of playing a unique role in the socio-economic development of the country. He said the formation of credit unions at all workplaces to mobilize resources to assist workers to enhance their livelihood needed to be encouraged.
Mr Tetteh made the call at the sixth annual general meeting of the Techiman Abotare-Ye Co-operative Credit Union at Techiman in Brong-Ahafo.
He said since financial institutions were reluctant to extend credit facilities to low and middle-income level groups, credit unions should assume that mandate to stimulate national economic growth. The regional co-operative officer urged credit unions to put in maximum efforts to face the challenges ahead in helping to raise the image of credit unions by educating the public on the need to join credit unions.
Mr. Edward Opoku Mensah, Brong-Ahafo Regional Field Officer of Credit Unions Association, speaking on "Appreciation of Small Money", asked members to see their small savings daily as being so useful that they could in future derive maximum returns from such efforts. He said the association would soon introduce Home Banking Boxes Boxes for members of credit unions to save at home.
Presenting the financial statement of the union for the period of July 2004 to June 2005, Mr. James Okyere, Techiman Municipal Co-Operative Officer said the Union, during the year, generated about 292,171,537 million cedis as against 240,935,230 million cedis last year and expended 243,250,987 million cedis as against 189,749,230 million cedis.
Mr. Okyere said the union also granted loans totalling 926,249,250 million cedis to about 350 members and paid 95,395 million cedis interest on members savings.
He decried outstanding loans to members of 868,881,699 million cedis representing 58.2 percent of their total assets of 1,493,168,336 billion cedis as against credit union associations required standard of 70 percent.
Mr. Okyere impressed on management to put in control measures to reduce delinquency as well as rampant savings withdrawals, heavy cash on hand to avoid theft and enable the board to repackage the society's products to attract members to save regularly.
Mr. Thomas Tuffour, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said membership rose from 632 to 822 with members savings going up from 1,195,014 billion cedis to 1,261,346 billion cedis representing 84.4 percent.
Mr Tuffour said the Union had acquired four building plots at Nkwaeso for the construction of a guest house and a conference hall and four other plots at Tuobodom for a gas filling station.
He said in order to extend the scope of the union to be vibrant the union had also acquired a 90-million cedis rented accommodation at the Tamale lorry station under the Build Operate and Own Transfer (BOOT). He expressed satisfaction with members' contributions to the success of the union and asked them to keep it up in drawing more members to join the Union.