Avoid power struggle – Employment Minister tells members of Cooperatives


The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, has called on members of Cooperatives to shun bickering and follow procedures to address grievances.

He said, doing so, was necessary to foster unity and help cooperatives stay focused to achieve their objectives of supporting and improving the living standards of members.

“Suspicions and counter suspicions among you are becoming too much and because of that investors and persons that want to do business with you sometimes lose interest.

“When there are issues, you do not take your time to investigate and authenticate the cases you are making, and you go public. The moment you go out, it sticks into the mind of whoever would want to do business with you,” he said during the Celebration of the International Co-operatives Day.

The theme for the occasion is “Co-operatives for Sustainable Development,”.

Mr Awuah also advised leaders of Co-operatives to adopt open administrative policies to help do away with suspicions, which were common in organisations with non-transparent management systems.

“Some of you have been council members, chairpersons of your organisations for too long and your tenures have even expired. Instead of you calling AGMs for elections to be done, you don’t,” he noted.

He also urged Co-operatives to adopt best practices in the management of resources and where necessary seek help from qualified personnel in the efficient running of the organisations.

“I know when it comes to auditing, you are traditionally not trained to be auditors. But some of you are managing huge sums of monies, so when you think you cannot audit, just appoint auditors to do that on your behalf,” he advised.

Madam Joyce Assan, Deputy General Secretary of the Judicial Service of Ghana, representing the Judicial Service Staff Cooperative Fund (JUSCOFund) called for the establishment of the Co-operatives Mediation and Arbitration Centre as an alternative dispute resolution platform to avoid ligation, which was relatively expensive and time consuming.

She observed that the co-operative union regulation Legislative Instrument (LI) 225 (2015) was the only subsidiary legislation regulating financial co-operatives and was only restricted to credit unions.

She proposed a review of the LI to ensure that financial cooperatives went beyond a credit union to include an investment scheme, and co-operatives provident fund, among others.

A review of the LI, she said, was necessary to also cover cooperatives not only in credit unions, but in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and transport, among others.

Madam Assan also called for the resourcing of the Department of Co-operatives to help it discharge its mandate of regulating co-operatives.

Mr Kwabena Apraku Yeboah, Acting Registrar of Co-operatives Societies, Ghana, said the Department of Co-operatives was spearheading the introduction of a new Co-operatives Bill to strengthen the co-operative sector.

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