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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Auditors give GTUCCU clean bill of health

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Speaking at the event, the president of the Gambia Teachers Union urged the government of The Gambia to give priority to the welfare of teachers in the country. 

Mr Lamin K Marong said teachers are doing “a good job” despite the prevailing “adverse living and working conditions”. 

Though he fell short in specifying the challenges teachers are faced with, the Muslim Senior Secondary School principal said providing “training, motivation and retention” scheme for teachers is crucial to enhancing quality education. 

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He enjoined teachers: “Continue the good job you are doing in your placements despite the adverse living and working conditions. Your contribution in the development of this country cannot be overemphasised.”

Mr Marong lauded the achievements of the credit union, which has since September 2012, taken over the payment of teachers’ salaries from the government. 

“Every teacher in The Gambia now has the opportunity to receive his/her salaries and allowances at his/her workplace and in a dignified manner,” he added. 

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Also speaking at the event, Mr Edrisa Bojang, chairman of the board of directors, GTUCCU, said the board is committed to providing oversights and guide strategies so that the momentum achieved remains. 

“However I do not intend to suggest that we have developed already because there is still a lot we can do to improve the lives of our members. What we cannot do ever is to give up hope or to be complacent,” he added. 

He thanked Mr Michael McHugh the manager of the Irish Teachers Union and MoBSE for providing the GTUCCU with “the impetus to challenge themselves”.

In his speech, the deputy permanent secretary at the ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Mr Ebrima Sisawo described the GTU as a success. 

“They were able to establish and strengthen links between all the stakeholders particularly the ministry that employs the teachers. Also they have been involved from the beginning and in all the policy implementation stages of the ministry. This is beneficial to the ministry, especially in the provision of quality education.”

In her report, the treasurer of the credit union, Haddy S Njie, described the year ended as exceptional with unprecedented financial performance for the union. 

On the balance sheet, she reported an increase of more than D2 million in the fixed assets from D11,724,395 in 2012 to D14,247,137 in 2013. 

“The accumulated returns from fixed deposits investments in banks also registered increment by D993,760  from D716,727 to D1,710,487. Also, D299, 087 was realised on investment at NACCUG, loan book grew from D55,349,443 to D80, 978,250. Total savings grew from D93,624,256 to D110,762,437.” 

She reported further a collection of D5,295,486 as membership dues. This, she added, eased the burden on interest on members’ loans which equally grew by D1,757,145. Ms Njie reported an increase in operational income from D9,728,545 to D16,714,911, while there had also been an increase in annual surplus from D188, 918 to D2, 776,955.

Speaking on behalf of the general manager of National Association of Cooperation Credit Unions of Gambia, NACCUG, Mr Hammey Juwara, the programme manager described the GTUCCU the biggest brother to all the credit unions of the country.  He said: “I want to reassure you that NACCUG is still committed to the general operations and the management of the abacus software for the 11 credit unions including GTUCCU. We are indeed proud of your membership and contributions to the development of our movement. As the saying goes, no nation can be bigger than its teachers as teachers are catalysts for human development. Therefore, we have plans to engage every teacher in our communities to serve as promoters for not only GTUCCU but to provide the book keeping support to our rural credit unions across the country. We can make this happen based on people helping people.”

Meanwhile, both the internal auditor and Real Time Consulting, the private auditing firm which audited the books of accounts gave a clean bill of health to the financial reports.

The AGM has approved the reports, previous minutes, financial statements, and resolutions. 

Other speakers were Ms Hawawu Barry, the representative of the registrar of cooperative societies. The AGM was also attended by the former president of GTU, Mr Omar J  Ndure, GTU general secretary Antoinette K Jack, representative of governor of Central Bank, board members and other credit unions in the country. 


By: Ousman Bojang


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