May 16, 2008, 8:36 AM
Medical Research Council of The Gambia staff Cooperative Credit Union (MRCGCCU) over the weekend held its 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the council’s premises in Fajara.
The theme for the AGM is “Credit Union Shared Branching - Developing Financial Inclusion through Cooperation among Cooperatives”
In his statement on the occasion, Chairman of the board of MRCG Co-operative Credit Union, Abdoulie Cham, said this year’s annual general meeting marked 19th year of their existence.
“I and the entire happy family are filled with renewed fervor and dedication to move to new heights and milestone as we continue to strive to make the credit union not only a household name in the unit, region or the whole country, but very sound and safe,” he said.
Mr Cham said the theme was very apt as credit unions in the country “have cooperated and worked together over the years to create a shared branching network for credit unions”.
“This means members of a participating credit union like ours can easily walk to any of the branches and access financial services as if they are here in Fajara, our headquarters,” he noted, saying that had contributed to the service but were yet to start using it.
According to Mr Cham, regarding membership growth, during the year under review, their membership had grown from 836 in December 2014 to 1,003 members in December 2015, which represents about 20% growth.
“This development would not have been possible without the cooperation and support of the MRCG Human Resource office with the blessing of the MRCG management,” he said, adding that the registered membership growth “is a clear sign of a better and brighter” future for the union and credit unions in general.
Mr Cham also highlighted some of their challenges, saying despite all the developments made and mentioned, the union still has some challenges affecting their performance, “thus the short term end of contract is bitterly slowing us in building the strength of our financial base”.
He added that “frequent withdrawals” is another problem affecting their products and service.
For his part, Mr Ismaila A. Jallow, treasurer of MRCGCCU, said their credit union has become a hub for financial centre for all members of MRCG staff; as members “heavily rely on the credit union” on all financial solutions like savings, investment and loan application.
Regarding loans, Mr Jallow said MRCG issued a total loan of D33,788,715 in 2015 compared to D21,971,959 issued to members in 2014.
“This shows a significant increase of more than 53% and this is a clear indication on the demand for loan from the credit union members,” he noted.
Regarding income, Mr Jallow said the union is delighted to announce a total income of D5,019,203 for the period, compared to 2014.
“We have made a remarkable achievement by an increase of more than 38%,” he said. “This was all achieved through the hard work and dedication of our staff and the board of directors in doing a good financial management through investing funds in treasury bills, fixed deposits and issuing of loans to our members.”
In delivering the keynote address on the occasion, chief guest of honour, the Director of MRC Unit The Gambia, said he was very happy to note a good participation among members, which signifies unity among MRCG credit union members.
The MRCG director said the credit union belongs to the members whilst the executives are just facilitating the growth and affairs of the union.
“This credit union is your baby, although we facilitate the condition for growth,” he said. “We should be social being, and cooperation and unity among you is something that is actually appreciative by the management of MRCG.
He advised members of the union to continue with their solidarity for more development, saying the unity among them “is fantastic and appreciative”.
The director added: “We are together we are strong but if we are in isolation then we will be weak; therefore we should endeavour to be together and work as a team to achieve our ambitions.”
He spoke about the need to trust each other, especially to those entrusted to manage the union funds.
He said: “Since they show to you transparency - and this assembly is an opportunity to review this AGM - therefore recognize the effort of the directors of operation for organizing and for making a lot of effort in creating dialogue between the union and the management of MRCG.”
He also further acknowledged the cordial relationship between the credit union and the management of MRCG.
This, he noted, will bring a lot of good support initiatives to staff members of the union, as it continues to be recognized even internationally.