The Northern Regional chapter of the Association of Rural Banks (ARBs) has called on the Bank of Ghana (BOG) to consider rural banks in the three regions of the North which are striving hard to meet its recapitalization strategy requirement.
According to them, they are not getting the required savings to meet the BOG’s requirement which might end up collapsing most rural banks and also to a large extent defeat the purpose for which rural banks were established by BOG.
They said most of the rural banks at the communities have been striving to educate the residence on the need to save with the banks to generate revenue for its operations; the new law might end up collapsing the banks if care is not taken.
They also called on the District Assemblies to endeavor to channel all their accounts to the RCBs instead of with the commercial banks to reduce stress and high theft.
More so government as a necessity should channel funds of decentralized departments, senior high schools and even non-governmental organizations working closely with the assemblies through the rural banks in the districts.
According to them, channeling such funds through rural banks would help address the constraints of capital and liquidity facing most rural banks and better position them to be catalysts for comprehensive rural development, channels of equitable distribution of opportunities and wealth, and support for expanded productivity in rural communities.
The Association made the appeal at the 6th Rural Banking Week celebration held at Nakpanduri in the Bunkprugu-Yooyo district of the Northern region.
The event which was on the theme “Rural Banking, the key to national industrialization”brought together financial institutions across the region to deliberate on the best way to enhance activities to bring about development in their catchment areas.
Some solidarity messages were also made by some rural banks such as Bonzali,Tizaa, Borimanga, Bangmarigu,First Alied,GN Bank among others.
Mr James Kwesi Arko, Manager of Tamale branch of ARB Apex Bank Ltd who represented the Managing Director Mr Kojo Mattah, urged rural banks to partner with government to execute programs that would help alleviate poverty in the rural areas.
“The ARB Bank will make efforts to ensure that rural and community becomes become part of the implementation processes” he said.
He urged stakeholders, traditional leaders and the communities to buy shares in the banks to help improve the capital base of the banks to enable them serve the clients better.
The District Chief Executive of Bunkprugu-Yooyoo Mr Liweel Oscar assured that the assembly would make frantic effort to ensure most of the government funds for the assembly is channeled via the bank.
He urged the rural banks to design innovative programmes that will help create job opportunities for the youths to alleviate poverty in the area that will reduce the migration of the youth to the southern sector to search for non-exiting jobs.
Mr Sylvester Dery, President of the Northern Regional chapter of ARBs called on the RCBs to establish research and product development into agro business industrial products in their respective districts to harness the capacity of small and medium scale enterprises to develop products and branding.
He also called on rural banks to continuously upgrade their capacity, efficiency, sustainability as well as uphold good governance and management practices to help to contribute to the growth and development agenda of the country.
“We in the rural fraternity will continue to come out with new innovative products in future to make banking services easily accessible to the rural folks” he stated.
He assured efforts are being made to install ATM machines at the premises of the various RCBs in the Northern Chapter.
He therefore appealed to the stakeholders to increase their shareholdings in their banks to enable them have long-term funds to expand their activities.
He also appealed to loan and overdraft defaulters to pay back their funds debts to enable the banks to recycle same for the benefit of the communities in their catchment areas.