By: Lamin B. Darboe
Information Officer, PMO
Gambia Civil Service Cooperative Credit Union (GCSCCU) like any other credit union in the country or globally at large, does facilitate legitimate financial services such as deposits and provides an array of other financial schemes as loan facilities.
Thus, GCSCCU creates socio-economic and financial security for its members wherein it provides them every avenue to save, as well as borrow from the Account at reasonable interest rates.
In this exclusive interview with the Manager of Gambia Civil Service Cooperative Credit Union, Mrs. Awa Darboe discussed the Union’s roles and responsibilities to civil service reform and development.
She revealed that the Union’s current asset value stands at D35 million and she cataloged the Union’s current physical savings at the Bank as follows: Savings Account: D14, 636,008 and current Account: D232, 144.
According to her, the Union’s esteemed members are from the various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), adding that as of now, a total of 1,850 are members of the Union.
“GCSCCU is a member-oriented microfinance institution that unites civil servants through the pooling of resources together. These resources (funds) are managed by the union and then made available to the members at very reasonable and affordable rates and of course without delays or strict measures,” Mrs. Darboe explained.
She informed that the Union’s functions include but are not limited to savings mobilization through direct deductions and deposits, disbursement of loans at reasonable interest rates, and offering financial advice, but the Union’s main business function is to provide finances to their members.
Giving the percentage of withdrawals made annually by their members, she explained “the withdrawal percentage differs from month to month likewise each year. During the year, we experience high and low withdrawal rates, and the peak is usually during festive periods such as Ramadan, Koriteh, Tobaski, Christmas, and so on, and during school opening periods too. In the advent of Covid-19, we also witnessed high withdrawals due to the unforeseen circumstances that lead to members withdrawing their savings”.
GCSCCU boss proudly explained that the Union’s members’ savings are encouraging from the backdrop of their poor savings culture. Members are trying to regularly save from their meager salaries, especially during the financial difficulties they are facing with.
“Generally, savings are there to salvage individuals when the need arises and as we know, it is sometimes difficult to approach other individuals for financial aid be it your family members, bosses, or even friends/colleagues. So, the best place to be in such situations is a financial institution. I am therefore recommending for everyone to join the credit union family with the philosophy of members helping members”.
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