Agona Nyakrom - Central Region, GNA- The Government would allocate 20 million dollars under the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) to rural and Community banks for on lending to micro-small and medium enterprises.
Mr. Kwadwo Baah Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning said this in a speech read on his behalf at the launch of the Barclays Sponsored Rural Credit Union Association at Agona Nyakrom on Friday. He said the government has also sourced a loan of 25 million dollars from development partners to support small and medium enterprises to enhance socio-economic advancement of the people. The Finance Minister stated that the finance-micro and small loans centre has been set up as an Apex body to oversee the disbursement and administration of the seed capital of 50 million dollars as part of the poverty reduction programme.
Mr. Baah-Wiredu stressed that micro-banking holds a lot of promise not only for the \"Susu\" collectors and credit unions but also for the revival of cottage industries, farming activities and rural development programmes.
The Finance Minister stated that the micro-banking idea has proved that Barclays was indeed a worthy partner of the people of Ghana. He noted that there are disadvantage people who cannot meet the credit union minimum requirements and urged the credit Unions Associations to develop a product that would benefit them.
Mrs. Margaret Mwanakatwe, Managing Director of Barclays Ghana said Barclays financial inclusion agenda would promote the development of 20 rural credit unions in the country to mobilize rural savings.
Mrs. Mwanakatwe said Barclays was funding the first set of individual savings boxes developed by the credit unions to encourage people, especially the farmers to cultivate savings habit.
She pointed out that Barclays micro-banking had helped to mobilize 18 billion cedis as deposits and has given out 1.5 billion cedis loans to traders, hawkers and stall operators to expand their businesses. The MD said the Barclays Bank has committed an amount of 30,000 pounds sterling, (510 million cedis) to support Credit Union Association (CUA) for two-years period.
Mrs. Mwanakatwe said the supports from Barclays also demonstrate the commitment it has to the people of Ghana, adding that the Barclays sponsored rural credit union will have credit impact on the lives of people.
She commended the chiefs and the people of Nyakrom and described them as lucky people because the first rural bank was established there and at same time the first Barclays sponsored credit union has also been started from there.
Nana Egyin Boadu, Interim Chairman of Agona Co-operative Credit Union said Nyakrom has had a long history when it comes to the provision of financial services, adding that in 60s and 70s the Ghana Commercial Bank operated a branch in the town and the first rural bank in the country was also established at Nyakrom.
Nana Okofo Katakyi Nyakoh-Eku X, Omanhene of Nyakrom Traditional Area, appealed to the people in the town to patronize the credit union to help reduce poverty
He commended the Barclays Ghana for sponsoring the credit union to establish a branch at Nyakrom to support rural economic activities.