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16.10.2008 Business & Finance

Credit unions are effective in empowering workers – Yakubu

By gna

Credit Unions have become an effective tool in the empowerment of workers by helping them to raise their living standards and that of their dependents and the community at large, Mr. Mohammed Yakubu, Chief Executive Officer of Cal Asset Management Company Limited, said on Thursday.

He said workers needed the economic education that credit unions were originally created to provide and explained that the need for workers, especially those with low salaries to get access to financial services and to learn to manage their financial affairs were necessary.

Mr Yakubu said this at the Annual General Meeting of the University of Ghana Co-operative Credit Union Limited.

He pointed out that the culture of savings was not very encouraging in the society as such there was a general lack of capital, that is money to start a business even though most Ghanaian workers lacked the financial support to guarantee them high living standards.

“Co-operatives, by their nature are designed to balance economic imperatives with the social needs of members while ensuring that the economic activity they generate stays in the community and returns in terms of profit going back to the members.”

Mr. Yakubu said, it was against that background that Co-operative Credit Unions were taking firm root in the economy of Ghana and were being formed by people determined to improve their own circumstance.

Commending the University of Ghana Co-operative Credit Union as successful, he said the union had provided competitive and quality financial services to its members at reasonable cost and had built a sustainable financial institution based on sound business principles.

He advised members to maintain their commitment and dedication and adhere to the union's regulations while pledging his continuous support to help foster the growth of the union.
Mr Alfred Quartey, Board Chairman of the University of Ghana Co-operative Credit Union, whose term of office was about to end, suggested to incoming executives look critically at achieving a quasi bank status to endeavour that the Union grew to the status of a bank.
He also said they should consider using an ATM to increase the efficiency of consumer services as well as having pictures of members of the union's system.

Mr John Acheampong Arthur, Field Officer of the Greater Accra Region of the Credit Unions Association, noted that credit unions were fast growing in Ghana and the association had developed keen interest in the activities of all the primary societies.

He recommended that the University of Ghana Co-operative Credit Union developed strategies to retain their membership and opened up to have more members.