Ghana government asked to channel Assemblies Common Fund through rural banks
Mr Dickson Osei-Asibey, President of the Association of Rural Banks – Ghana (ARB) has appealed to the government to consider channelling the District Assembly’ Common Fund (DACF) through rural banks to support development in rural communities.
He argued that rural banks had been undertaking projects which inured to the benefits of the people and channelling the DACF through them would enable them to further contribute towards enhancing the living conditions of the people.
Mr Osei-Asibey made the appeal at the 18th Biennial General Meeting (BGM) of the ARB in Tamale on Friday to take stock of its previous year’s activities and plan for the years ahead.
This year’s BGM would be climaxed with the first ever Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) Excellence Awards aimed at raising the standard of rural banking practices amongst others in the country.
Mr Osei-Asibey argued that channelling the DACF through rural banks would strengthen their financial base to better serve the rural economies by helping small, medium-scale enterprises to improve their performance.
He said there was need to take rural banking seriously if the country was to develop because “Rural banks are closer to the people and are delivering projects aimed at improving the lot of the people.”
He called on the Bank of Ghana to continue to paternalize RCBs to become fully integrated into the national financial services industry for accelerated growth and rapid socio-economic development.
Mr Osei-Asibey urged RCBs to be innovative and creative to be truly community-based and local to serve as effective link to the informal system of the rural financial services industry.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, who represented Professor Kwesi Botchwey, Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission as the keynote speaker, urged rural banks to target the vulnerable groups with financial packages to improve their small businesses for improved living conditions.
Alhaji A.B.A. Fuseini, Deputy Northern Regional Minister, who represented the Northern Regional Minister, commended rural banks for coming out with packages and products that is helping to eradicate poverty and enhanced rural productivity and employment.
The Regent of Dagbon, Kampakuya – Naa Abdulai, whose speech was read on his behalf, commended rural banks for undertaking initiatives that ensured community development.