Nalerigu (NE/R) The Bawku East Small-Scale Farmers Association (BESSFA) Rural Bank Limited has opened two new branches at Nalerigu and Bunkpurugu, in the North East Region.
Apart from the first branch at Nakpanduri, which was the only branch in the North East Region until the two, the Bank established in 1983, had three fully computerized and networked branches at Garu, its headquarters, Bawku and Pusiga in the Upper East Region.
Alhaji Hayatudeen Awudu Ibrahim, the General Manager of the Bank, at the opening of the two banks, stated that the new banks were initially operating as Mobilization Centres for many years and officers of the Bank were sent from the Nakpanduri Branch to serve customers at the two locations on market days only, the services offered were limited to taking deposits and accepting withdrawals.
He said the inconvenience and the cost usually incurred by the clients from the two locations in travelling more than a day or two to enable them access loans at the Nakpanduri Branch, prompted the Board and Management of the bank to open the two new banks in order to address the challenges.
Alhaji Ibrahim said the mother bank had made plans to install Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) at the two newly established branches within the next twelve months to provide clients with 24/7 access to their funds and to also make it convenient for customers to access their funds anytime and anywhere in the country.
The General Manager commended the Bank of Ghana for granting the mother bank, the approval to establish the two new banks in Nalerigu and Bunkpurugu after successfully going through all the necessary processes and meeting all the regulatory requirements.
He said the new branches were fully equipped with modern infrastructure to provide safe and conducive working environment to serve the clients efficiently and effectively.
He said the Bank envisioned to be the most preferred financial institution among the best and its mission was to promote financial inclusion and create value for stakeholders through excellent service, innovation and professionalism.
The General Manager said the Bank was one of the leading financial institutions in the country that advanced more loans to the agricultural sector than any other sector even though many financial institutions in the country considered the agribusiness sector, particularly crop production as a high risk venture and so offered little or no support to it.
“We have by this gesture succeeded in bringing the best out of our farmers leading to an increase in food production, food security and guaranteed business and household income for about 38 years. Most of the youth and women within our catchment area have taken agriculture as business and have since moved from subsistence farming to commercial farming due to our consistent support to them. I am happy to state that agribusiness loans take about 36 percent of the entire loans and advances on our balance sheet as at the end of December, 2020”.
The General Manager stated that due to the bank’s good performances in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) especially in the areas of education, health, water and sanitation, agriculture, environment, sports and culture, it received the enviable award at the 2020 Ghana Philanthropy Awards held in Accra in December last year.
Source: Ghana News Agency