The Association of Rural Banks (ARB) in Ghana had its 20th Biennial General Meeting in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region to constitute a solid platform for rural banking and summoning a new spirit of responsibility, sacrifice, service and commitment in the rural banking sector among members.
A total of 141 Rural and Community Banks across Ghana were present at the General Meeting and National Awards Night for deliberations on how to improve the services and introduction of new innovative products in Rural and Community Banks especially at the rural level to attract more people to save with their respective banks.
Speaking at the forum, Dr. Nana Boamah Akowumah, the President of the Association, explained why it was necessary to create a platform for the meetings and awards to always account for their stewardship and also to work towards the creation of a new spirit of responsibility into the Rural banking sector.
“..…indeed, our purpose today is to constitute a solid platform for ourselves and summon a new spirit of responsibility, sacrifice, service and commitment in our daily dealings, and also to discuss issues relevant to the development of our rural banking sector.” He said.
Despite numerous claims of the Association of being the first of its kind in Ghana terms of professional banking, the President of the Association acknowledged some of the difficulties and the competing nature they are confronted with on daily basis.
“…and I should say without hesitations that, now some of our banks in the rural settings are facing serious challenges with some Corporate Tax hike from 8% to 25% by the government. Increase in Stated Capital, and also competition from Micro-Finance, Savings and Loans Companies, and Liquidity, but without doubts, all will be over-comed because we are in constant touch with the government about the Corporate Tax Hike. ” He noted.
The Upper East Regional Minister, Ambassador Paulina Abayage noted that for the Rural Banks to achieve self-sustainability and self-dependence, will have avoid misapplication of depositors funds and consistently fight against corrupt practices within the Rural banking system.
According to her, for Rural and Community Banks to achieve their goals, they will have to work hard and meet the interest of people within their catchment areas.
“…achieving these goals of self-dependence for your banks, there is the need to fight corruption in all forms in the rural banking sector. Corruption or more specifically misapplication of the public funds continues to hold back the development of the banking sector and our nation as a whole. The protection of the public purse is a social common good and it depends on all of us. It is in our interest that corruption does not thrive, so we must Police each other’s behavior.” She said.
She encouraged the rural banks to rally behind the agenda of “Ghana Beyond Aid” in order for them all to work hard in making sure that the rural communities received self-dependent.
“…in view of this, I humbly suggest that Ghana Beyond Aid is more than a slogan. It is meant to propel us into the frame of mind that would quicken our pace of development. Therefore, I encourage you all to rally behind this agenda and let us work hard to make our rural and Community banks self-sustainable” she said.
Source: a1radioonline.com | 101.1 MHz | Moses Appiah