Droves of members, Credit Union heads, and fraternal representatives converged at the ultra-modern office complex of the Swedru Teachers Co-operative Union (STCCU) to mark its 17th Annual General Meeting and 49th Anniversary at Wawase, a suburb of Agona Swedru in the Central Region.
The event which was themed, “Sustaining Credit Unions Gains through Effective Corporate Governance” sought to report outcomes of operations and activities of the society for the last financial year and also discuss other progressive agenda. It commenced with a short prayer and the Credit Unions anthem, then the Master of Ceremonies, Ransford Tenadu introduced the Chairman for the occasion.
Mr. John Egyin Buadu, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, chaired the ceremony. He welcomed everyone and ask that a minute of silence should be observed for demised members of the Union.
Mr. Buadu also explained that the rationale for choosing the theme is to uphold organizational goals and mission, guide organizational strategic direction, maintain financial health overtime and mitigate risks. Furthermore, the theme is directed at building and maintaining public confidence and also ensure accountability by promoting transparency and responsible actions.
He emphasized that major factors that will bring about sustainability and growth amongst Credit Unions is the adoption of an effective governance structure in its management/administration.
Regarding membership, the Chairman publicized that although it was affected by factors such as relocation, death, closure of accounts due to crisis in the financial sector, membership increased by 451 at the time of audit. He also noted the need to engage an Operations Manager to support the expanding functions of the General Manger, considering the continuous growth and opening of new branches of STCCU.
Member shares increased from GHS1,064,066.80 in 2016/2017 to GHS1,461,982.16 in 2017/2018, an increase of GHS397,915.35 representing 37.39% growth.
Also, at the close of the financial year (30th June, 2018) total assets stood at GHS13,318,012.95, an increase of 12.77% over the 2016/2017asset base of GHS11,811,132.43 recording growth of GHS1,507,880.52.
However, total income decreased tremendously by 40.36% from GHS3,194,469.84 in 2016/2017 GHS 2,275,760.09 as a result of the challenges faced by the Ghanaian financial sector. This effected panic withdrawals, closure of a number of accounts and non-payment of loans.
Shareholders’ funds surged upwards by 20.3% from GHS3,039,866.80 in 2016/2017 to GHS3,657,525.97 in 2017/2018 a growth of GHS617, 659.16. Member savings similarly increased by 10.5% from GHS8, 614,796.48 to GHS9,519,807.83.
Nevertheless, Net Loans granted increased marginally by 1.17% from GHS5,948,717.01 to GHS6,618,478.55 an upturn of GHS69,761.50. Likewise, Investment improved by 14.02% from GHS2,113,662.354 to GHS2,965,236.14, an increase of GHS851,573.80. STCCU saw a decline of 21.52% that is GHS175,793.35 in 2016/2017, a net surplus of GHS817,017.50.
STCCU as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) allocated an amount of GHS9,491.00 in support of various projects and events in communities within Agona West and East Municipal and District Assemblies as part of its CSR during the 2017/2018 financial year.
The General Manager of STCCU, Mr. Joseph Acquaye, enumerated various plans to improve the operations of the Union. He also officially introduced the short code (*718.222#) for USSD to improve customer experience. Mr. Acquaye also complained about loan delinquency amongst members and assured them of the safety of savings with them.
Mr. Emmanuel Oduro Darko, a former manager of the Ghana Co-operative Credit Unions Association Ghana (CUA), bemoaned the incidence loan delinquency amongst credit unions. Mr. Darko, also advised members of the Union to choose objective leaders in their forthcoming elections.
The General Manager of CUA Capital, Mr. Emmanuel Coffie explained that the theme for the event is in the right perspective because credit unions can be efficient through effective corporate governance, transparency and accountability. He stated that Credit Unions can progress only if management and staff respect the views of their members. Mr. Coffie called on Credit Unions to work within their budgets and apply efficient risk management methods.
The Supervisory Manager for the Ghana Co-operative Credit Union Association (CUA), Mr. William Adu-Adjei graced the occasion as part of a host of invited dignitaries from CUA who came to lend their support to STCCU.
The various committees presented their reports for the year ending and then the much anticipated elections took off in spite of a heavy rainfall.
The keenly contested elections was smoothly run in spite of a heavy rainfall. It ended with the newly elected BOD members as follows: Mr. George Eza (Chairman), William Ayensu Appiah (Vice Chairman), Kow Gyepi Garbrah (Secretary). Also, Mr. Michael Amissah (Assistant secretary, Robert Vincent Oduro (Treasurer), Felicia Benedicta Akyempon (Assistant Treasurer) and Paa William Aggrey (Member).
Arrangements are far advance for the lunch of the 50th Anniversary celebration of STCCU in 2020 however, and the Board of Directors are planning a launch after the AGM.