Chief of Party of the World Council of Credit Union (WOCCU), Patrick Muriuki, has reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to support Liberians through a model credit union program in the country.Mr. Muriuki, who is also the project director of Microlead, a Credit Union Revitalization Program in Liberia, said though WOCCU is there to help the Liberia Credit Union National Association (LCUNA), stakeholders, including development partners, it also needs to maintain the revitalization process and represent the credit union movement in international forums.“To stakeholders, regional credit unions, too, need your support now more than ever to continue to offer financial services to farmer cooperatives, savings clubs and village savings and loan associations in communities that have no access to formal banking services,” he said at the close of an annual assembly held in Ganta, Nimba County, on May 25.He told the assembly that all credit unions in the country must support the Board and management of LCUNA through due payments and participate in training activities offered by LCUNA so that their apex body can continue to advocate for them.“As you are aware, WOCCU began operations in Liberia in May 2013 and was mandated to renovate and equip the LCUNA building, construct and equip 4 regional credit unions, connect 40,000 new members to financial services and mobilize US$3.5 million in savings and loans,” Mr. Muriuki recalled.The WOCCU boss also said LCUNA, Regional Credit Unions (RCU) and other associations have received training on credit administration best practices, governance, and strategic planning in Liberia, Ghana, Rwanda and Sweden.Besides these constructive networks for LCUNA and RCU, the Microlead Program is constantly working on product development and diversification for loans (5 loan products) and deposits (6 deposit products). Insurance and salary payment services have commenced being offered at Region one (Bomi) and Region two (Grand Bassa) RCUs, and will be extended across the remaining RCUs as demand increases, he indicated. The RCUs are also mobile money agents and have been providing mobile money services to their communities since May 2014 (with an average of 2,577 transactions to date per RCU).The Microlead Program, according to him, has come to an end. “We are spending the next couple of weeks to link the regional credit unions and their members to other development partners in the country that have newer innovative programs in their regions,” he said. “I would like to encourage all credit union leaders that have more than 300 members to apply for a license from CBL. “When your credit union is licensed by the Central Bank, many institutions and development partners will begin to have confidence in your credit union,” he said.Mr. Muriuki thanked the Liberian government for creating an enabling environment for the operation of community-owned financial institutions that contribute to the development of the country’s economy.Meanwhile, WOCCU, with MasterCard Foundation funding through UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), has partnered with the LCUNA to rebuild the credit union sector of Liberia. WOCCU also promotes sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
…residents calling for Govt’s interventionThe Itaballi to Puruni road in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) is yet again in a deteriorated state and residents and miners who traverse the road which serves as the only entrance and exit to various sections of the region are calling on the authorities to intervene now as the road has become impassible.The deteriorated state of the Itaballi to Puruni road which miners are forced to endure in seeking their livelihoodMiners are being forced to suspend their operations at various intervals owing to the deteriorated roads in the area. The miners made calls on the Government to correct the problem so they can earn a livelihood without hindrance.This road, which is the gateway to Guyana’s mining sector, sees thousands of persons traversing on a daily basis to get into various backdams to mine.Several of those miners reached out to Guyana Times on Monday to highlight the plight they are facing in seeking their daily bread.A gold miner, Trevor Alphonso, who was left stranded on the road right through Friday night after his pick-up became stuck on the trail told Guyana Times that he was on his way out of the backdam as he received news that his son had fallen ill. He said that he was aware of the state of the road but was willing to make the effort to get home to his son at any cost.“When I spoke to my wife Friday morning and she told me my son wasn’t well I got worried and like any father, I started to make my way out. My pick-up got stuck and I left stranded for hours before a truck pass and assisted me. We all need to work. We know the condition of the road but we can’t just stay at home waiting for the Government to fix it. We would all die out because the Government don’t care about the people. Once their pocket full that all they interested in,” he said.Alphonso added that several times, he and other miners brought this issue to the attention of the regional authorities, who always say that they have been informing Central Government as it is their responsibility to repair the road.“Every time we bring it up and complain, the only thing they say is that it’s up to Central Government. They claiming they keep reporting to Infrastructure but nobody has ever responded or even visited. But they are boasting about outreach and outreach and fooling up the people, this Government care nothing about the people. We all know that”, Alphonso stated.Another miner, Jerrick Amos, who also spoke to this publication explained how the condition of the road is affecting his ability to work and provide for his family. He noted that the road has been in this atrocious state since February and no visit was ever done nor was any effort made to carry out any works on the road. He described the situation as hazardous and very frustrating. “I can’t work as I use to, I am lucky if I get a good trip in there in a week. When the gold slow I take in fuel to sell and the struggle that it is to reach in there and the damages to your vehicle it’s like you’re working at a loss but we all need to live, we need to earn to take care of our responsibility. The Government isn’t helping the situation at all. They making life harder than it is already. I would like them to see this story and see the pictures and I hope it touch them and they decide to pool some resources here,” Amos said.Other miners and business operators who were forced to halt their operations pointed out that the road has been neglected for more than a year and deteriorated to this state over the past few months. They also called on the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to make an urgent intervention and arrange the much-needed repairs for the road soon.