The Shai Osudoku District lacks access to sustainable financial services such as savings, credit and insurance, the District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Daniel Akuffo, has said.
According to him, the failure of the formal and informal financial sectors to provide affordable credit to the people had reinforced the vicious cycle of poverty which remained a major constraint in the district.
Mr Akuffo said the constraints had excluded the people from participation in the country’s financial sector.
“I want to state that together we must build an inclusive financial sector that would help improve the lives of every citizen,” he said.
Teachers Credit Office
In a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy District Coordinating Director, Mr Amadu Iddrisu, at the opening of a branch office for the Tema Chapter Teachers Network Cooperative Credit Union (Tema CUA) at Dodowa last Wednesday, the DCE said poor people were not only being deprived of basic resources but also lacked access to information that was vital to their lives and livelihood.
The new office of the Union becomes the seventh branch since the establishment of the scheme in 1998.
The DCE said while poverty ought to be tackled from all fronts since it contributed to physical weakness, malnutrition, and lack of access to healthcare, Cooperative Credit Unions had become an avenue to improve on the situation of many people within the poverty bracket.
“There is an emerging consensus around the view that microfinance is a necessary complement to the informal financial credit as it offers an effective response to persistent poverty and vulnerability,” Mr Akuffo explained.
While commending the Tema Teachers Chapter of CUA for opening its doors to residents in the district to be financially inclusive, Mr Akuffo maintained that the act would provide diversified, dependable and timely financial services to the economically active poor in the district.
The move, he said, would aid in the mobilisation of savings for financial intermediation, and encouraged residents in the district to take advantage of the opportunities that the new office would offer them to make decent living for themselves.
The Board Chairman of the Tema Chapter of CUA, Mr Gilbert Asiedu Yemetey, indicated that the chapter took a decision to extend its services to the district as part of measures to provide an inclusion for not only teachers but residents who were unable to access funding from the universal banks and other financial institutions.
He announced that the CUA had also introduced a mobile banking concept to be able to reach out to potential clients in communities that were distant from the union’s branch offices.
Mr Yemetey noted that the union presently provided continuous sensitisation to members and potential clients on financial management, financial literacy, loan acquisition, usage and repayment.
The manager of the Tema Chapter of CUA, Mr Stanley Attor, observed that the scheme which presently boasts some 10,000 membership, had a total asset of GH¢14.5 million as of December 2018, and expressed the hope that the opening of new offices would rake in further gains.
Presently, the union has offices in Tema, Ashaiman, Ada, Kpone and Adentan, all in the Greater Accra Region.