Friday, November 2, 2012

Cameroon:Buea Police Cooperative Credit Union Still Reliable:President

Shey Benjamin Serkfem
The Buea Police Cooperative Credit Union (BuPCCUL), started since 1967-that is 45 years ago- is still very reliable today, the Union President and Chairman of Board of Directors, Shey Benjamin Serkfem ,has said, calling on the cooperators and the general public to also  trust the Cameroon Cooperative Credit Union League (CAMCCUL), the network to which BuPCCUL belongs.

“BupCCUL is quite trust-worthy and even its umbrella organization, CAMCCUL.If CAMCCUL was not worth-counting on, how come of the over 400 micro-finance institutions in Cameroon, more than 200 of them are within the CAMCCUL.CAMCCUL is the biggest network in the CEMAC region.”

Shey Serkfem, was speaking to the press on Saturday, October 20 at Catholic Mission Hall,Buea shortly after  the 2012 General Education Meeting(GEM) of the Buea Police Credit Union, which held on under the theme “Credit Union Loans, Recovery and Union Growth”, as well as  an extra-ordinary general meeting of BUPCCUL intended to deliberate on the Union’s conformity to OHADA Uniform Acts on cooperative banks.
Presentations at the massively attended GEM, and which were commended by cooperators included:
BuPCCUL Loan Product and the Loan Granting Process by Amungwa Felicita-BuPCCUL Head Office  Manager Nchang; Current Delinquency at BuPCCUL and Recovery Measures for the CamCCUL network  by Gamkong John Ney- Chairman BuCCUL Load Recovery Committee & Mr. Ewane Elvis-CamCCUL Fako Chapter Lending & Collection Assistant; The Recovery Action Plan of BuPCCUL for 2012 by Shey Benjamin Serkfem,Union President & Board Chair , & Mrs. Mafany Queen- Union Vice President /Chair of Credit Committee; The Risk Management Policy of CamCCUL by Mrs. Mirabel Chulepakong-CamCCUL Technical Support Officer for BupCCUL)

 Another important presentation was: Highlights on the CamCCUL Renewed Principles and key Changes towards conformity to the OHADA Uniform Acts on Cooperative banks.
 President Serkfem threw this challenge to cooperators: “The strength of any credit union depends on the education and participation of its members. Know you’re your credit union and participate in its growth”

Later  same day at the Extra-General Assembly, BupCCUL President Shey Benjamin Serkfem, in his welcome speech, said the meeting was holding on the instruction of the minister of Finance towards “our specific conformity to the OHADA Uniform Acts on cooperative banks.” 

Of course, the representatives of the Minister of Finance and that of the Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development (MINADER) witnessed the Extra- ordinary General Assembly deliberations.Mr. Vesoh Pius, SW Registrar of Cooperatives, sat in for MINADER.
Also present were presidents of sister unions and the Vice-president of CamCCUL.

“BuPCCUL was one of the pioneer CUs that came together to form CamCCUL.We thus believe in the CU principle of coming together for improved democracy, shared strength, mutual support and the importance of a strong, formidable ,united and representative league with effective internal systems of fighting malpractices”, noted BuPCCUL president.

Shey SerkFem particularly lauded the presence of the two ministers’ envoys, noting:
“The microfinance sector is about the country’s money, the cooperatives are about the local production economy and the two are about food on the table for the grassroots masses, so when government does its duty by facilitating, showing concern and maintaining peace and order the people appreciate it a lot”

The focus of the Extra-ordinary General assembly was to answer two questions:
1)      What is the choice of the duration of a mandate? A choice which the OHADA Uniform Acts on cooperative banks leaves to the credit Unions and their networks.
2)      Who should be eligible for elections when there are new by-laws?
Answers: The Assembly voted for a 3-year term of office, renewable twice and also voted “for more accountability and performance evaluation which meant that even within a 3-year mandate, a poorly performance director or elected committee member on a vote of no-confidence could be kicked out of office”  
 President Serkfem admitted that “Our Union is under stress from losses due to baldly granted loans, bad repayment of loans, poor administration, mismanagement and fraud”.

But quickly assured the cooperators, “Your newly elected representatives are making ground-breaking efforts to turn things around and regain our profitability. It is in the interest of the Union that everyone especially those who now have a grip of the situation to be given a chance to contribute to the revival of our union”

President Serkfem urged cooperators to pray for God’s direction in the management of the union and members agreed that on Sunday October 21 they would all volunteer a church   offering and a prayer for the continued success of BuPCCUL, its members and their activities.
The assembly was also used as an opportunity to award certificates of recognition to some Union workers and officials. Both meetings ended on a good note, as members called for more concerted efforts to keep the union afloat and on the path of banking success.

First Published in The Recorder Newspaper ,Cameroon,of October 25,2012

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