By Afia Nyarko Asare
Counselling on proper financial management practices amongst the grassroots and clients of Microfinance Institutions has been identified as the smartest way to promote financial literacy/inclusion and attainment of the global agenda of alleviating poverty.
Mr. Gilbert Kofi Adamtey, Chief Executive officer of Leverage Microfinance Limited, elucidated that the grassroots who are mostly clients of microfinance institutions are struggling with financial instability and in some cases poverty not because they do not come into contact with money but because they lack knowledge on how best to manage their money.
He continued that if all microfinance institutions continue to keep to their obligation of engaging their clients in financial management education to equip them. This will promote good personal financing that will improve their business and promote financial development amongst the grassroots.
The CEO divulged that in Ghana, the issue of loan is dicey, and poorly handled by most microfinance institutions and their clients as well. “Our mothers or traders do not make good decisions concerning loans. Even most literates do make good financial decisions. Therefore before giving out loans we have to educate them, to understand issues pertaining to interest rates and compare whether the loan we offer will help, grow their businesses considering the interest rates or collapse it. Therefore, our responsibilities as Microfinance Institutions are to secure clients funds and educate them on good financial management practices. Sometimes you give out loans but when you visit their various businesses you realize it’s not the funds they need but rather education” he concluded.
Mr. Adamtey, cited further that, “I have a client who complained of low sales, she was a teacher who had employed someone to take care of her shop. When I visited the shop I discovered that shop attendant had been braiding hair in the shop and customers are not comfortable with that, so they buy from nearby shops whiles she is expecting sales which will not be realized”
He advised that, cases such as this needs education and guidance. You must have ample time to check sales books and stock and unannounced visits. Ghanaians are too generous and it’s affecting businesses. We exaggerate in this act. A caterer bakes cakes and shares amongst friends, meanwhile she did not get the ingredients for the cake for free. If it’s a restaurant the boyfriend visits and get food for free. Church harvests and people go to the extent selling assets to pay for pledges at church.
Leverage is a limited liability company legally registered under the Companies Act 1963 (Act 179) of Ghana, as a non – bank financial institution. LMC has obtained its full operating license from the Central Bank of Ghana to operate as a tier II financial institution.
On the issues of client management, he noted that, “When we hear client what usually comes to mind is our external client. When people go to school and acquire knowledge to work with a microfinance institution, that knowledge needs to be upgraded through training. However, most employees are not sent through any form of training when they start working. This responsibility towards staff is key because charity begins at home. There should be proper progression ladder for employees of microfinance institutions. Some microfinance don’t even have structures. Sometimes an employee joins an institution as an accountant and he remains that for ten years without improvement. We also have a responsibility towards the Board of Directors and the shareholders”.
Mr. Adamtey added that Ghanaian microfinance institutions responsibilities towards its ultimate focus, the external clients’ aside education are prompt payment of deposits and delivery of other services. The client according to him must place values on the company’s policies and follow agreed schedule.
Finally, he called on practitioners to go by all directives given by the Bank of Ghana to avoid unpleasant actions from the regulator.
Leverage Microfinance Limited started its operations from an office at Adabraka official town – a suburb in the Greater Accra region of Ghana, as a finance house providing only credit facilities to employees and small scale businesses that were struggling to be attended to by the traditional banks.
Leverage currently has its head office located off the Dansoman – Sakaman road, at Ave Maria junction, Poultry Avenue in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana.
According to the CEO of the institution, “Leverage is deduced from the word lever which propels our customers to be the best. We are focused on respect, Speed and unity with staff, staff-client relations, empathy, and prudence. We have introduced a new product for students that is intended to encourage them save so they have something to fall on after school. There are also the L-kid, L-Teen for kids, we encourage parents to state for their kids’ education.
Leverage lever business loan is to support SME’s. We also do LPO and have now introduced USSD code to make services accessible to clients through transactions with the code. We are situated at Dansoman Ave. Maria junction. Leverage we make things happen in your life”.

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