The Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, has encouraged workers to cultivate the habit of saving in order to live decent lives during retirement.
He said putting aside money for retirement was important as it would help them improve their standards of living and avoid the situation of becoming a burden on their loved ones.
He urged the working population to consider planning for retirement as being material to their welfare in future.
Mr Nti was speaking at the 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Ghana Revenue Authority Co-operative Credit Union (GRACCU). It was on the theme: “Credit Union and Technological Age.”
At the AGM, the management board of GRACCU laid out reports on the union’s accounts for last year before members.
The Chairman of the board, Mr Godwin Aaron Monyo, said unrealistic interest rates paid by some private financial institutions such as Menzgold and the erstwhile DKM to their clients between 2016 and 2018 affected operations of cooperative credit unions in the country.
He added that many credit union members made huge withdrawals from their savings accounts and invested them in the collapsed ponzi schemes.
According to Mr Monyo, the situation became worse following the closure of some financial institutions by the Bank of Ghana.
“Our average monthly withdrawals increased from GH¢700,000 to GH¢1.5 million. This adversely affected not only our lending ability but our profitability as well,” he said.
He stated that notwithstanding the incidents which he described as “financial tsunami”, all savings with GRACCU are safe.
He urged contributors to have confidence in GRACCU since the managers of its funds were carefully selected.
The GRACCU board chairman said at the end of June last year, membership of the union had moved from 4,518 in 2017 to 4,640.
He said total savings for the 2018 financial year moved upward from GH¢30.96 million in June 2017 to GH¢33.24 million.
The Deputy General Manager of the Ghana Co-operative Credit Union Association (CUA), Mr Emmanuel Coffie, said the adoption of modern technology and application of sound financial management practices would help the union to serve its members better.
“A contemporary credit union must adapt to the changing circumstances in the market. The financial environment continues to be very competitive and members of the credit union will want new products and services that meet current trends,” he said.
He added that with technology, it was possible for members to send and receive funds to and from their business partners, pay bills, top up their phone credits, receive timely notifications on their accounts and have access to their account details anytime and anywhere, without necessarily walking into the credit union’s office.