The University of Ghana Co-operative Credit Union Limited (UGCUL) had assets totalling GH₵8,998,348.04, with a total income of GH₵1,734,032.75, in the 2009/2010 fiscal year which ended on June 30.
The Union’s Net Surplus also stood at GH₵753,169.04 during the period under review, compared to GH₵6,953.77 during the previous financial year.
This gain enabled the Management Board of Union to propose that a total dividend of GH₵225,950.01 representing 30 per cent of the net surplus, be appropriated to members as dividend to be paid into their savings accounts.
Mr Emmanuel Oduro Darko, General Manager of Credit Unions Association (CUA), in an address at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the UGCUL on Thursday, commended the Union for its enviable achievement and urged it to strive hard to maintain the lead status for others to emulate.
He stressed the benefits of credit unions, saying they had created opportunities for many workers to enhance their living standards through regular savings as well as enable them to access soft loan facilities.
He, however, stated that though the concept of credit union started in Ghana, other African countries including South Africa and Uganda had overtaken the country due to the unavailability of strong legislature to regulate the operations of such unions.
Mr Darko appealed to Parliament to expedite action on the passage of a Credit Union legislation to regulate the activities of all such unions in Ghana and enhance their benefits to help reduce poverty among a large number of the population.
He indicated that it was the CUA’s mission to make credit union a household word in Ghana through intensified education, yet the greatest difficulties facing the vision for the future was the presence of stiff competition from both formal financial and emerging micro-finance institutions.
He said it had become critical that credit unions devised ways of extending the concept to others who were still sitting on the fence and urged the Management Board to introduce new savings and loans, products and services tailored to satisfy existing and potential members to help sustain their interests in the credit union.
Mr Richard K. Apeatu, Head of Micro-Finance, Fidelity Bank, encouraged Ghanaians to attach greater passion to the issue of saving and investment which required conscious and sustained effort, adding that no matter how much salary one received, one could still devote at least 20 per cent of the into savings.
Professor Dominic Edoh, Board Chairman, in his report indicated that though the world economic and financial crisis, coupled with the high oil prices, created a difficult macroeconomic environment for the country, the Union maintained its interest rate on loans at 14.63 percent per annum to provide affordable credit facility for members to improve their livelihoods.
He however mentioned the difficulties that the union faced with the migration of the workers payroll to Integrated Personnel Payroll Database II (IPPD II), but said it had since overcome the difficulties through the effective use of Information and Communication Technology and hoped to expand its membership to all regional centres, city campuses and the Agricultural Research centres through the use of ICT and other mass media channels without being physically present.
The Auditor’s report on the Union’s financial statement for the financial year ending 2010 and the proposed budget for the year ending 2011, were both read and adopted by members who also approved the proposed dividend to be paid to them in the year under review.