GRA boss cautions public on unrealistic investment returns

The Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Nti has cautioned the public to be careful with financial schemes that promises unrealistic investment returns.

“As a former Bank Examiner and a background in the financial sector, there is no investment that could genuinely offer an investor more than two or three per cent interest rate per month on investments.

Be careful with the way you invest. Let me signal you that any investment with more than three percent monthly returns is too high and is abnormal. Most of my best bet is in the Credit Unions,” he said.

Addressing the 11th Annual General Meeting of the GRA Co-operative Credit Union (GRACCU) in Accra, on the theme: “Credit Union and Technological Age,” Mr. Nti empahsised that the interest rates offered by the banks should guide individual investors on anything abnormal, adding that although the banks offered loans to people to prosper, they were mindful of making profits.

He said the work of the Union is to help us prepare into the future through the contributions which yields returns.

Chairman, Board of Management of the GRA Credit Union Limited, Mr. Godwin Aaron Monyo said: “The payment of high and unrealistic interests by some private institutions, such as erstwhile DKM and embattled Menzgold, have affected the operations of our union and indeed other unions between 2016 and 2018. Most of our members have made huge withdrawals from their savings Accounts with the Credit Union and invested same in these Ponzi schemes.

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The situation became very alarming with the closure of some financial institutions by the Bank of Ghana. Our average monthly withdrawal increased from GHC700,000 to GHC 1,500,000. This had adversely affected not only our lending ability but our profitability as well.”

He indicated that the benefits from the union’s Guaranteed Deposit Accounts (GDA) had been encouraging for members over the past couple of years, adding that the high yielding investment plan was aimed at helping members and their immediate families to undertake development projects without taking burdensome loans elsewhere.

“The product is serving as a retirement plan for the staff of GRA in general, and that of Controller Accountant General Department, who are on our roll,” he said.

He said it would use technology to improve upon its services and attract more customers.

Mr. Monyo said, in order to achieve the union’s objective, it had signed an agreement with the Zenith Bank under the Ghana Interbank Payment Supplement System for the Bank to collect payments on its behalf and manage the GDA savings through the direct debit system.

By this arrangement, members can sign onto its products and also make payments directly from the banks without necessarily passing through the payroll.

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Deputy General Manager, Ghana Co-operative Union Association, Mr. Emmanuel Coffie, explained the need for the Union to continue discharging its duties efficiently and effectively to members.

“This responsibility will be possible when we commit ourselves to the usage of modern technology to serving our members, and the application of sound financial management practices.

A contemporary credit union must adapt to the changing circumstances in the market. The financial environment system continues to become more competitive and members in the credit union will want new products and services to meet the current trends.

Members will want to be able to send and receive funds to and from business partners and loved ones, pay backs and top up their phone credit. Members will also want to receive timely notifications on their accounts and have access to their account details anytime and anywhere, without necessarily walking into the Credit Union’s office,” he said.

Mr. Coffie added: “We need to seek information on the current trends in the financial market. We need to appreciate the emerging technologies which will help streamline our operations and enable us better serve our members. We need to seek information on members’ felt needs, so as to develop tailor made solutions for them.”

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