Shareholders of Naara Rural Bank at Paga in Upper East Region have been urged to increase their shares to enable management achieve its capital requirement of 150,000 Ghana cedis set by Bank of Ghana to pay dividends.
Mr Peter King Aloah, Chairman of Board of Directors of the bank, made the appeal at its 18th Annual General Meeting held at Paga in the Kassena-Nankana West District at the weekend.
He noted that although management had intensified education and efforts on floating of shares the response was not encouraging, and appealed to Kassena-Nankana District Assembly, Kassena-Nankana West District Assembly and Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly to purchase more shares to keep the bank in operation.
Mr Aloah suggested that a resolution be passed to transfer 100,000 Ghana cedis from its reserves as bonus shares to enable the bank meet the Bank of Ghana requirement.
Reviewing the bank's operations, Mr Aloah said it made a net profit before tax of 84,486 Ghana cedis in 2007 as against 78,680 Ghana cedis in 2006 representing an increase of 7.38 per cent.
He said its assets increased from 2,138,000 Ghana cedis in 2006 to 3,263,000 Ghana cedis in 2007 representing an increase of 52.62 per cent.
Deposits also increased from 1,460,000 Ghana cedis in 2006 to 2,389,393 Ghana cedis in 2007 representing an increase of 63.66 per cent.
Investments in 2006 were 773,350 Ghana cedis as against 829,650 Ghana cedis in 2007, representing 7.28 per cent increase.
Loans and Advances were 1,463,095 Ghana Cedis in 2007 as against 829,000 Ghana cedis in 2006 an increase of 76.49 per cent.
Mr Aloah said as part of its social responsibilities in 2007, it supported education, sports and culture with 1,491 Ghana cedis.
Mr Aloah said as part of its strategic planning, it would be fully automated, construct a suitable building for banking operations in Navrongo in the Kessena-Nankana District, intensify share capital mobilization and develop a "Susu" Loan Scheme.
He commended the bank's collaborators including International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), OXFAM, Felix Foundation, Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, Fund and Agriculture Budgetary Support for their assistance.
Mr Roy Ayariga, Upper East Regional Director of Agriculture said rural and community banks had contributed to poverty reduction in rural areas and appealed for assistance to develop innovations to attract more clients.
He urged management to improve and expand its Micro-Finance Scheme to attract more customers.
Mr Ayariga noted that under the Africa Development Bank and IFAD project to be undertaken in the three Northern Regions and some parts of Brong Ahafo Region in 2009, there would be more focus on assisting farmers to shift from subsistence farming to commercial farming to empower farmers to increase production for domestic consumption and export.
He said part of the project's activities would be channelled through the rural banks and urged management to take advantage to assist farmers within its catchment's area.
Mr Ayariga said Ministry of Food and Agriculture had provided water pumping machines to farmers in Upper East Region to undertake cropping three times a year and asked management to assist them.
Mr Erick Osei-Bonsu, Managing Director of ARB APEX Bank Limited, in an address read for him, commended management of the bank for its achievements especially in profit after tax gain and increase in its assets.
He urged managements of rural and community banks to institute policies that would ensure high loan recovery and widen their scope in micro financing to reduce poverty in the communities and ensure their sustainability.
Mr Osei-Bonsu appealed to management to strengthen its internal audit department to perform its watchdog role to prevent fraud.