Agribusiness Services Unit, which also serves as the Office of the Registrar of Cooperatives, has renewed commitment to support and promote credit union movement in The Gambia.
The deputy head of the unit, Abba Sankareh, renewed the commitment at the 10th annual general meeting of Medical Research Council Cooperative Credit Union (MRC CCU) held on Saturday at the MRC ground in Bakau.
Mr Sankareh said there are 82 credit unions in The Gambia with a total membership of 64,900 and a total savings of more D800 million. He pointed out that work place credit unions form the majority of the savings.
Globally, about one billion people are involved in cooperative either as members/customers, as employees/participants, or both, according to statistics. Cooperative movements employ at least 100 million people worldwide.
The 300 largest cooperative enterprises in the world have collective revenue of US$1.6 trillion, which are comparable to the gross domestic product of the world’s 9th largest economy, Spain.
The theme of this year’s MRC CCU AGM was ‘Credit union shared branching – developing financial inclusion through cooperation among cooperative’.
Mr Sankareh pointed out that though a lot have been achieved by the MRC CCU, as reported in the reports of the chairperson and treasurer, there is no room for complacency.
“I therefore challenge you to come up with more innovative products and services to better serve your members,” he said, adding that credit unions in the country should embark on more sensitisation by doing radio talk shows to increase membership.
He explained that the success of any credit union is based on commitment, innovativeness and transparency of leaders elected.
Mr Sankareh further explained that cooperatives around the world generally operate according to the same core principles and values, adopted by the International Cooperative Alliance in 1995.
He said no credit union can grow alone; the support of all stakeholders and partners like NACCUG is needed.
He also commended the management of MRC for creating the enabling environment leading to the growth, prosperity and success of the institution’s credit union.
He assured MRC of the Agribusiness Unit’s continuous support to the credit union movement in the country.
Speaking on behalf of NACCUG general manager, Nuha Sanneh said the AGM accorded members of MRC CCU the opportunity to scrutinise the performance of their elected board of directors for the past 12 months.
Mr Sanneh, CFF manager at NACCUG, urged credit union members to continue nurturing good governance and accountability in their operations.
He said liquidity management, profitability and security of members’ funds should form an integral part of any credit union business.