The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has asked customers of lending institutions to pay back loans when they borrow, since that would enable the institutions to render the best support to businesses in the Ghanaian economy.
The Regional Manager of the Bank of Ghana, Mr J. T. Kudah, who gave the charge at the inauguration of a new branch of Opportunity International in Tamale, said borrower’s failure to repay credit facilities prevented other customers from accessing funds to support viable economic initiatives, while limiting the viability of the institutions’ operations.
“I wish to caution customers that whenever they borrow they must pay back the amount with interest. This is because funds lent out come mainly from accumulated deposits from other customers, which are repayable on demand,” Mr Kudah said.
He also cautioned the public to be mindful of unauthorised financial institutions acting in the name of microfinance and investment. “The general public is advised to be mindful of such emerging illegitimate institutions and should demand of them their operating licences issued by the Bank of Ghana.”
Opportunity Int’l in Tamale
The savings and loans company extended its reach to the Northern Regional Capital, Tamale, to cater for customers in the northern part of the country in fulfillment of its vision to spread its network there.
The new branch adds up to the existing 45-branch network of the microfinance lender and is set to create employment to shore up the existing 782 workforce of the company.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Opportunity International Savings and Loans Limited, Mr Kwame Owusu-Boateng, emphasised the company’s commitment to support small and medium-seized enterprises (SMEs) which are integral parts of the Ghanaian economy.
“The focus of our business has been on sectors of the economy that are dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises that are mostly in need of very small loan amounts for injection into their businesses. Evidence from our transformational impact has shown that our loans have had significant impact on lives, families and communities of our clients,” he said.
Mr Owusu-Boateng said such small beginnings were able to grow the business of their clients and also support them throughout the growth cycle to become significant players in their industry and communities.
The Municipal Chief Executive for Tamale, Mr Abdul Hanan Gundadow, commended Opportunity International for being a dependable partner to SMEs, saying: “I greatly commend you in choosing to serve this segment of micro and small-scale entrepreneurs who rarely keep records of account, have no collateral for loans and whose business need are minute.”
He entreated the company to serve the Tamale community and help transform the lives of market women in the metropolis.
“As you enter the Tamale market, we expect that you will serve our community with your life-changing products and services so that we shall transform the lives of our market women and other micro clients.”
With the introduction of a range of electronic products and services including funds transfer, airtime top-up, and balance enquiry, Opportunity International has increased its loan portfolio to GH¢88.4 million, with total deposit clients of over 425,000 as of June 2015. The company has deposit balances of GH¢85.5 million.
Voted “Non-Bank Financial Institution of the Year, 2013” by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana, the strategic objective of the company is to reach out to a million clients by 2020.