By Mamadou Edrisa Njie
Mr. Patrick Mendy, the Finance-cum-Administrative Manager of the National Cooperative Credit Unions of The Gambia (NACCUG), has revealed that their records show that, as at 31st March 2019, seventy-seven thousand, six hundred and seventy-three (77,673) people countrywide were able to mobilise D1.2 billion savings within its 26 years of existence.
He was happy to report that the provincial credit unions alone were able to mobilise 42.8 million savings with a membership of 7,784 during this short spell.
The Finance Manager disclosed these encouraging figures at the Second Edition of the award ceremony for NACCUG project beneficiaries to access finance, held on 31st October, 2019 at its head office in Bakau.
He quoted the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) statistics showing that 235 million people within the credit union family worldwide mobilised 1.4 trillion savings within a short period.
The award ceremony coincided with the World’s Savings Day Commemoration which is in line with NACCUG’s vision of promoting financial inclusion in The Gambia.
Based on the statistics, Mendy enthused that his office has all reasons to celebrate the day, and by extension, the awardees present, noting that it’s a day of self-assessment.
The NACCUG Manager underscored the importance of savings, noting it has impacted on the lives of human beings in diverse ways, worldwide.
“Savings can help you become financially secured and provide a safety net in case of emergency. Emergency cushion can be a new roof, out of pocket medical expenses, sudden loss of income, school fees, access to loans for business ventures and many more,” said the Finance and Administrative Manager.
Mendy used the occasion to challenge the project beneficiaries to take their business ventures with seriousness, pointing out that the Credit Union family strongly believes that savings does not mean having lot of money, working under an employer but being committed for the future and that of their businesses.
He reassured the gathering that NACCUG, through the affiliated credit unions, would continue to inculcate the habit of savings in its members and youth, and also engage the youthful population for meaningful life to complement the efforts of the government of the Gambia.
“I would like to conclude by encouraging you to capitalize on this unique opportunity to share experiences and network for a better livelihood,” the Finance and Administrative manager rounded off.