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Regional News Sat, 9 May 2009

MCE/DCE pledged to promote credit union concept

Winneba (C/R), May 9, GNA-Two of the recently-confirmed Municipal and District Chief Executives in the Central Region, have pledged to do all within their power to expand and effectively promote the concept of credit unionism in their areas of operation. Nii Ephram, Municipal Chief Executive for Effutu, and Mr. Adams Nuhu, District Chief Executive for Awutu/Senya, expressed the belief that the system could be effectively used as a permanent instrument for poverty reduction in the two administrative areas. They made the pledge when they took turns to address the maiden annual general meeting of the Winneba-based International Labour Organization (ILO) Edwumapa Co-operative Credit Union at Winneba on Friday.

Nii Ephraim, an educationist, and Mr. Adams Nuhu, an accountant assured leaders of the Edwumapa Co-operative Credit Union that they would sensitize their people to embrace the Credit Union idea seriously to enable them to derive maximum benefits from the system. They expressed optimism that if the system became firmly rooted in the two communities, parents and guardians in Effutu Municipality and the Awutu/Senya District, will be in a better position economically to cater for their children's education and also reduce the incidence of child trafficking which is rampant in the two communities. Nii Ephraim cited the example of financial assistance he personally enjoyed from the Edwumapa Co-operative Credit Union a couple of years ago when he encountered a serious economic crisis, and expressed his deepest appreciation to the leaders of the union for their useful advice which bailed him out.

He commended the leaders, particularly the manager of the Edwumapa Co-operative Credit Union, Mr. Kingsley Arkoh-Sam for his selfless devotion to the commitments of the Union, and advised the new directors and other committee members to maintain the tempo to sustain the efficient and credible administration of the Union. Mr. H. H. Monney, Central Regional Vice Chairman of the Ghana Association of Co-operative Credit Unions and Mr. S. K. Annor, Central Regional Manager of the Association, also took turns to address the meeting on matters affecting the development and growth of Credit Unions in general and advised members of the ILO-Edwumapa Co-operative Credit Union who have been given loans to honour their payment obligations in good time.

In a message, Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, National Project Co-ordinator, Ghana Decent Work Country Project of the International Labour Organization, advised leaders of the various Co-operative Credit Unions throughout the country to ensure that their members were registered with the National Health Insurance Policy to safeguard their health needs all the time.

According to Dr. Thompson, this will make the running of their small-scale businesses cost-effective, because the NHIS policy shall cater for the greater percentage of their health expenses. Earlier in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr. Arkoh-Sam, the Union Manager suggested to the Government to channel the poverty alleviation fund through the various formidable Co-operative Credit Unions in the country instead of allocating the fund to individual applicants.

Mr. Arkoh-Sam said that this way, the poverty alleviation fund which was originally designed to perform a special economic revolving system, aimed at cushioning the financial burden of the rural poor, could be seen to be heading towards the realization of its objectives. He further suggested that after directing the fund through the Co-operative Credit Union System, Government must put in place effective check and balance mechanisms to ensure prudent disbursement and purposeful utilization of the funds for rapid economic growth at all levels.

Mr. Arkoh-Sam expressed the hope that Government would take his suggestion seriously when the system was reintroduced, to avoid huge sums of tax payers' money going down the drain through the poverty alleviation policy in future. He said the adoption of the idea will virtually force Ghanaians to embrace the Co-operative Credit Union concept, thereby making the people business-oriented instead of always looking forward to be spoon-fed by the Government. 09 May 09

Source: GNA