The head of Micro Finance and Financial Inclusion unit at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), El-Tumu Trueh has challenged officials of the Liberia Credit Union National Association (LCUNA) to live up to their responsibility as a union.
Mr. Trueh made the call yesterday, October 15, when LCUNA joined others to celebrate the 67th International Credit Union (ICU) Day worldwide.
Held under the theme, ‘’People Helping People’’, the event was attended by members of the union.
Trueh, who served as the keynote speaker told officials of LCUNA that they must ensure the organization can provide help to all its members.
He said credit unions cannot be institutions where members aspire to be board members only to seek their own interests and leave out ordinary members.
He urged them to enhance sustainable development of their respective unions by empowering people through access to affordable financial services.
‘’You are challenged to introduce tools and technology to strengthen your unions and to improve their services,’’ he added.
Mr. Trueh noted that credit unions are organizations that empower and have the potential to play pivotal roles in lifting people and the country out of poverty.
‘’Credit unions can change the way we talk and think about savings, loans and can bring from the cold our vulnerable Liberians who struggle to qualify for loans. We must be thankful for the vision of the CBL Executive Governor, Dr. J. Mills Jones—who believes in empowering Liberians, as well as institutions, so that they are able to empower themselves,’’ he said.
He quoted the CBL Governor by saying that ‘’it is time to give Liberians the tools to fight their way out of poverty and back a poverty reduction strategy with practical empowerment initiatives.”
Mr. Trueh challenged union leaders to return to their respective primary credit unions with renewed vigor and enthusiasm to build and grow various institutions in order to help Liberians.
For his part, Saye J. Biyie, chairman of the board of directors of LCUNA, said the importance of credit unions in access to finance and financial inclusion program of the government cannot be over emphasized.
He said a recent survey done by CBL for the creation of a national strategy for financial inclusion in Liberia shows that over 70 percent of the population has no access to financial services.
This clearly indicates the urgent need for improved financial services for citizens through credit unions across the country, he said, because credit unions are community based organizations designed on cooperative principles and values to present a better platform for access to finance and financial inclusion than any other financial institutions in Liberia.
He also called on government to provide institutional support to LCUNA in terms of logistics through budgetary allocation in the amount of U$500,000 annually.
‘’LCUNA and the primary credit unions must exercise integrity, justice and commitment in all that we do,” he urged members of the union.