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NATCCU remains solid despite financial sector crisis

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The outgoing Board Chairman of the Navrongo Teachers Cooperative Credit Union (NATCCU), Mr. Isaac Amuriyaga, has made a passionate appeal to members of the Union not to indulge in panic withdrawals as tendencies may shake the solid foundation of the Union.

Mr. Amuriyaga made the appeal in his Board of directors’ report at the 20th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Union held in the capital of the Kassena-Nankana Municipality, Navrongo over the weekend.

The AGM was themed “Local Service, Global Reach”.

He gave a firm assurance to the members and the public that, the Union had remained resilient in the face of all the turbulence in the financial sector during the 2018/2019 financial year mainly because of its strict adherence to the rules of engagement and gained experience over time. The period in question it will be recalled, witnessed the collapse of seven universal banks and 23 micro finance companies.

The outgoing Board Chairman admitted that some good investments of the Union had been locked in the collapsed Gold Coast Fund Management but emphasised that, with all the expertise the Union’s Management had gained from its inception in 1996 to date coupled with sound financial management, the Union had been able to navigate its way successfully through the crisis.

He disclosed for instance that during the period under review, Total Assets of the Union increased from GH₵5,329,567.46 in 2018 to GH₵6,727,643.60 in 2019 representing a growth of 26.23 percent. He added that member deposits also rose from GH₵4,164,396.24 to GH₵5,268,524.35 within the same period.

According to Mr. Amuriyaga, the indices for Shares also appreciated from GH₵301,382.08 in 2018 to 437,611.38 by close of 2019. He said it was however only the Union’s Income that suffered a marginal dip, dropping from the 2018 figure of GH₵259,516.60 to GH₵187,563.80but held that with increased efforts by Management and staff, this could be easily turned around.

Mr. Amuriyaga who has nine years’ experience as Board Chair of the Union, one year stint as the Upper East Regional Chapter Chairman and eight years as National Treasurer of the Credit Unions Association, revealed that despite the odds in the financial sector of Ghana as earlier stated, the Union was able to pay dividends amounting to GH₵54,462.20 to members for the 2017/2018 financial year.

Meanwhile, it also paid interests on members’ savings to the tune of GH₵248,755.88 as of June 2019. He remarked that these were all signs that NATCCU was being properly managed under his leadership and that, it was on a sound footing.

On Corporate Social Responsibility, he disclosed that an amount of ¢6,000.00 was presented to education authorities in aid of Ghana’s independence celebrations in the Manyoro and Natugnia enclaves while ¢1,000.00 was also donated to one Julius Atugumyure to assist in his medical bills for a complex operation.

Mr. however bemoaned the loan delinquency rates among members noting that this only improved marginally during the period from 22 percent to 16 percent and that it had cost the Union lots of cash as a third party, Advanced Debt Recovery Agency had to be contracted to help retrieve loan repayments.

He noted that existence and operations of NATCCU was primarily for the benefit of the people and businesses in the Kassena-Nankana areas and urged all who were indebted to the Union to try everything possible to honour their obligations to the Union so that many more persons could also benefit from similar facilities. He also entreated new and potential members to join the Union as it was the surest way to uplift their living standards and promote business growth.

Meanwhile, Mr. Amuriyaga enumerated rampant savings withdrawals, deposit dumping, dormant savers and some investment challenges as the major obstacles that impeded the work of his team as Board Directors. He thus charged the new Board to put their best efforts forward by raising the standards set while pledging to assist with his vast experience.

The 1st National Vice Chairperson of the Credit Unions Association (CUA), Mrs. Joyce Mbiba Mpopii in her address as guest speaker at the AGM, was impressed with the massive attendance at the AGM but did not hide her disappointment in the very negligible number of females on the on the old Board as well as that of those who had put themselves up for election onto the new Board.

In her own words, “credit unions are mostly dominated by women but that is not so when it comes to our leadership”.

Citing the Union’s exiting Board for instance, she noted that there was only one female, Madam Agnes Adda who happened to be the 1st Vice Chair on an eight-member board and remarked that, such a composition of the board wasn’t a good representation of the membership.

Mrs. Mpopiii also disclosed that, she herself was the only female on an 11-member board at the CUA national body and observed that, such poor representation of women at the top brass of the unions even defeated the Cooperatives’ Principle of Equality amongst members. She therefore challenged her fellow women to stand up and get actively involved in the leadership of credit unions and also, partake in decision making because they have the numbers and were equally competent.

Some representatives from state institutions including the Ghana Education Service, Ghana Health Service, Department of Cooperatives, the Electoral Commission and executives from other sister credit unions from across the Upper East Region and outside as well as patrons from some schools’ saving clubs also attended the AGM.

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