Problems Faceing Susu Collectors in the Bantama Sub-Metro

CHAPTER ONE Introduction Background to the study Personal saving may be voluntary; it can also be contractual through insurance policies by insurance companies and also contributory if through the traditional social security system or “susu“. “Susu” is a traditional form of saving where an individual saves a fixed amount per day with a “susu” collector for a specified period, say one month. At the end of the month, the Individual collects his or her total savings less one day’s installment, which the “susu” collector deducts as commission. The higher the umber of clients of a “susu” collector, the higher the level of that collectors commission at the end of each calendar month. “Susu” is the popular name given to the rotating savings club in Ghana. It is said to be of Yoruba origin, which is an adulteration of “esusu”. The term is believed to have been introduced into Ghana by migrant Ibo traders before independence in 1957, when formal banking had not caught up well with people especially the indigenous illiterates folks who were mainly traders. With the Alien’s Compliance Order in 1969 coming into force, these aliens left this legacy.
Then came quite a number of Ghanaians entering into the business as a result. A few unscrupulous persons also crept in and some actually bolted away with their clients saving. (Aryeetey and Gockel, 1991) In response to the increased cases of fraudulent practices of some “susu” collectors in the late 1980’s, Ghana Co-operative “Susu” Collectors Association was formed in 1990 in an attempt to regulate and supervise the activities of the “susu” collectors. This association serves as the mouthpiece for all “susu” co-operatives in Ghana. It is the agent that collects taxes on behalf of the commissioner of internal evenue services and external credit facilities for its regional or district societies. (Aryeetey, 2000) and Ardner (1964) echo an informal confirmation that “susu” was an ancient institution prior to the introduction of the British currency. “Susu” was practiced by Nigerian traders in Makola number (two) market in Accra. Apart from the term “susu”, the rotating saving club is known by other names in different parts of Ghana. The Ewe’s generally refer to the clubs as “edzodzo” or “eso dzodzo”. Whist among the Kotokole’s in the northern part of the Volta region, it is known as “edeso” (I. P. C, 1988).
In some quarters in Laura town the club is known as “lekseque”. Statement of the problem People have realized the importance of “susu” scheme yet “susu” collectors faces a lot of problems mobilizing contributors to participate in the scheme. A lot of contributors have lost interest or back out of the scheme because of the bad perception about “susu” collectors. Collectors find themselves wanting as sometimes the group in which they join collapse as a result of embezzlement by the group leaders. Some contributors also end up collecting their share of the money contributed and refuse to contribute again.

Banks that are involved in the saving scheme also faces documentation problems with their clients. Unfortunately the large amount of research on informal savings has not investigated the problems facing the “susu” collectors. In pursuit of this research, however, an attempt has been made to find the antecedent facts that leave the “indigenous savings scheme” incapable of living up to expectation as far as mobilisation, administration and management of funds are concerned. Purpose of the study General Objective: The general purpose of this study was to discover the problems facing “susu” collectors.
The specific objectives of the study are; Specific Objectives: 1. To examine some silent points in the administration and management of “susu” schemes. 2. To identify how “susu” saving scheme is organized and operated by individuals and other financial institutions. 3. To find out why people engage in “susu” schemes. Research questions The researcher posed the following questions to the respondent. 1. What problems exist in the administration of “susu” scheme? 2. What measures do collectors adopt to ensure the safety of the contributions? 3. Who are those involved in the “susu” collection? . What problems do collectors face with their clients? 5. How does the scheme operate? 6. Why do people engage in “susu”? Significance of the study. This study may be useful to “susu” collectors, financial institutions that take part in the scheme, Ghana Co-operative “Susu” Collectors Association (G. C. S. C. A), “susu” contributors and the general public. The management of “susu” schemes will be able to solve the problems facing their collectors as well as management and administration problems. This may be possible after knowing the problems that exist in the operation of the scheme.
The study provides feedback to the Ghana Co-operative “Susu” Collectors Association (G. C. S. C. A) as to what actually goes on with the operation of the scheme. The study will contribute to the general understanding of “susu” operations to the advantage of the “susu” contributor and the general public. Limitaions to the study The study was not obviously without shortcomings. The researcher was faced with some problems. Books written on the susu scheme were a little source of information. The method of sampling used by the researcher was not the appropriate technique but was the cheapest.
Other problems were the refusal of some people to grant interview on the topic and the questionnaires. However, with all the problems, it is the hope and wish of the researcher that all information gathered are valid and beneficial to the interested parties especially people of Bantama sub metro. Delimitation of the study In other to get reliable records and information, the research was centered on “susu” collectors. The researcher contacted garden city savings and loans Bantama branch and “Gye nyame susu” center at Suntreso south and their members, collectors in their offices and homes.
The conclusions and generation therefore were not applicable to all “susu” schemes. Organization The study consists of five chapters. Chapter one of this study deals with the introduction. It covers the background to the study and sets out the statement of the problem, purpose of the study, the research questions, the significance of the study, the limitations of the study, delimitation of the study, the organization, and definition of terms. Chapter two covers the review of significant or related literature to the study review. Chapter three also talk about the methodology and the procedure for the research.
It looks at the various instruments used in collecting the data of the study. Chapter four deals with the presentation of data analysis of information gathered from the survey and interpretation of results. Chapter five also deals with the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations. Definition of Term SUSU: An alteration of ‘,esusu,’ a yuroba word given to the rotating savings club in Ghana. CHAPTER TWO Literature review Introduction Informal financial savings have been an important part of local financial resource mobilisation in Ghana and other countries since the introduction of money as medium of xchange. Through these savings most trader and dwellers are able to raise capital for their business and other commercial activities. This involves element of credit union and the insurance scheme. In Ghana, the traditional societies are called by the name “susu” societies and “susu” clubs. A lot of authors, researchers and scholars have addressed the issue of “susu”. Problems Howard et, al (2000) contended that “susu” collectors are unused in having an apex organization to represent them. In the North, eight hundred and fifty (850) are registered ith this; though it is estimated that a further one hundred and fifty (150) unregistered members operate in the North. They run the business from kiosk located in the market place and act as mobile bankers deposits, often of low but regular value, are usually taken on daily basis over the course of the month. Ghana-vision 2020 Program Of Action for the first medium-term development plan (June 1998-2000) stated that though voluntary informal savings groups (“susu”) provide most of the working capital of small and medium scale enterprises, these “susu” groups nd other non-banking financial institutions are at present not geared towards long-term investment financing. This has been a major problem with “susu’ groups in Ghana. However there is strong possibility for “susu” to form the basis for the establishment of mutual funds and co-operative savings scheme. According to the report of Financial Accountability and management (August 2004), it is inevitable that the development of credit unions does not conform to a single universal blueprint. In the context of worldwide movement, three major differences in the development of particular credit union industries.
Credit union movements in specific locations will potentially move from birth, through adolescence to full development as a consequence of the growth in assets and a direct bearing on accountability. Again to the extent that homogeneity does not pertain, significant variability in accountability between credit unions may exist. Safety of contributions According to Aryeetey (2000) most ‘informal savings mobilizers’ (including “susu” collectors) use bank facilities for deposits. This implies that a substantial part of rural financial savings end up in banks. At Bonwire and Efiduase in rural Asante, “susu” ollectors were able to collect ? 8. 8 million and ? 8. 6 million per month, respectively, which they saved in commercial banks in Kumasi, the regional capital (ROSCA survey, 1999). But while informally mobilized savings are to enhance the lending operations of formal banks both this study and the study by Aryeetey (2000) indicates that such lending is skewed towards urban areas. These “susu” collectors use the banking facilities extensively to safeguard their funds. People involved in the scheme Ndeh (1998) in presenting a paper on the informal savings added that women specially those in the rural population faces considerable obstacles in their access to institutional source of funding. For instance some bank managers would like to “sleep” with them before they are given loans. Because they do not want to fall victims of circumstances they decide to form groups to save funds in order to aid them in their finances. To add to his comment Ndeh talked about the situation in the Philippines where traders especially women who are married cannot contract loan from the bank without the consent of their husbands. They therefore involve themselves in informal financing here they can get easy access to credit. Ndeh also said that less than 28% of Cameroon women traders get access to formal credit. He also commented that this kind of situation in Cameroon might also affect traders in other developing countries. According to Ardener and Burnan (1995) the rotating “susu” club continue to play a dynamic role in helping to meet the cash needs of women traders and farmers. It is found on principles of mutual trust, obligatory relations and homogeneity. Most “susu” collectors were Women. This shows that women are mostly involved in the “susu” scheme. According to Caselli.
F (1998), the “susu” collectors provide savings facilities to individuals involved in a wide variety of informal income generating activities, traders, cart pushers, apprentices, mechanism drivers, and sometimes farmers and fishermen. Operation of the scheme According to Adjetey (1998), a variant of the “susu” scheme in popularly known as “olu” savings scheme, sometimes described in the literature as mobile banking. In the scheme, the “olus” or “susu” collectors go to markets and hawkers to collect daily savings. The saver chooses the amount he or she can deposit each day, and the collector ecords this amount on a card, indicating some personal information about the depositor. No formal agreement exists between the saver and the collector. The scheme is based entirely on personal trust and relationship. Some collectors do make credit facilities available to some of their traders. Such facilities sometimes attract interest payments that one made on daily basis. “Susu” collectors are entitled to the first daily contribution as commission. The money collected from various contributors are sent to the agent of the scheme which is later deposited at the bank for save keeping. Emerging system
Bortei-doku and Ayeetey (1998) discuss the operation of rotating savings clubs in Ghana, shedding light on such issues as the significance of clubs within the national economy, their structural and functional characteristics, their gender composition, the attitudes and perceptions of club members about the system, and more recent changes and variations included by changes in the national macroeconomic setting. They note that while the mainstream principle of grouping together people whose common goal is to accumulate a lump sum over a specific period of time is still a respected method for obilizing savings and allocation credit, and thus a robust socioeconomic development instrument, the operationalisation of that principle had changed over time. They noted that ‘new’ institutions had emerged, but using the same principle, that is “susu” collectors and emerging savings and loan companies. Botei-doku and Aryeetey argue that despite changes in how the principle group economic activity operationalised, the interests of men and women as differentiable savers in this informal sector activity appear to have been effected even if only moderately: thus, while women appear to be more active in accumulating the required ump-sums within the framework of the newer “susu” collector system, more men particularly at workplaces, continue to stock to rotating saving schemes. They maintain that the “susu” system remains a resilient institution, in view of the preparedness of participants to introduce operational innovations in response to changing socioeconomic conditions. Also in a report on new institutions, Aryeetey, (2000) observes “susu” companies that have emerged in Ghana only since 1985 operational principles are similar to those of individual “susu” collectors. The difference between the two is that the saver is ‘guaranteed’ credit. Rather han deposits being returned to the saver monthly, as is the case with the “susu” collector, the company holds them for at least six months, after which depositor may withdraw the saving in addition to an equivalent amount of loan. As part of the innovation occurring among informal units, newer savings and loan companies have also emerged. These entities sometimes use commissioned agents (“susu” collectors) to mobilize deposits primarily from market women and make short-term loans available to them from time to time. Interest and collateral base Broham, John (2000) found that on the credit side, the advances made by the “susu” ollectors to their regular depositors are usually of low value, very short term ( less than one year) provided in an interest free basis without collateral and disbursed immediately if the money is at hand. The money lenders advance loans on interest higher than the banks but without collateral, and disbursed very quickly if the client is known. The world Bank (1995) indicates that positive real interest rates are not crucial in mobilizing additional deposits and creating avenues for granting credit as evidence by the fact that the “susu’ system functions with negative nominal rates.
It indicates that rural communities place a higher premium on convenience, accessibility and trust. Why people engage in “susu” Aryeetey and Gockel (1991) also stated that, the estimates of the size of informal savings suggest that about fifty percent (50%) of total financial savings in Ghana is attributable to the “susu” system. Most “susu” clubs are guided by unwritten codes of conduct. Writers like Aryeetey and Aryeetey (1996) wrote on the operations, utilizations, and changes in rotating “susu” savings in Ghana. They found out that in an economic climate where several social groups in the orkforce find that their access to informal institutions is limited due to their socio- economic handicap, informal institutions such as “susu” are bond to flourish. Aryeetey et al (1990) said besides the difficulty of operating a bank account, the distribution of bans and the low levels of literacy in Ghana especially among traders, makes the informal saving practical for certain categories of people. While in the large urban areas of Ghana, banking facilities may be away from them. Although “susu” collectors sometimes embezzle their money they still prefer it because the collectors ome to collect the daily contribution at their workplace. Ndeh (1998) presented a paper on the informal savings. He commented that, in developing countries, the financial institutions have utterly neglected the mobilisation of savings and deposit facilities in order to make them accessible to majority of the rural population therefore this people have resorted to informal savings to save their hard earned money. Aryeetey and aryeetey (1995) indicated that, though “susu” is popularly used to purchased small consumer goods, there a is strong evidence that, it is an important source of business capital. Opoku l. (1997) argues that ,”susu” is perhaps the best-known and oldest form of self- financing business scheme in Ghana. The Sunday Hauld (1997) also argues that “susu” is perhaps the largest best known and oldest form of self financial business scheme in Ghana. Despite the growth of the banking sector, in the past few years “susu” and other non banking financial scheme have remained the back bone and lifeline for a substances proportion of workers in Ghana’s economic development especially those operating in the informal sector, which is in fact the dominant force in the country’s economy. This has shown the contribution of the cheme to national development. The World Bank (1995) also identifies several informal financial arrangements in Ghana. They include Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCA) and moneylenders. It attempts to find explanations for the existence of the informal sector and suggest that in rural areas are the banking system offer low quality services: the processing of deposit and withdrawal takes several hours, and in some instances customers find no cash and must revisit the bank in order to make a withdrawal. This has shown that some people are interested in the scheme because of the convenience attached o the “susu” scheme. CHAPTER THREE METHODOLOGY Introduction To ensure the collection of reliable and accurate information or data for the research work, certain procedures and methods were adopted. This chapter deals with the methods used by the researcher in collecting data for the purpose of the research. It involves the research design, population and sampling, data collection techniques, data collection procedures and data analysis. Research Design The type of research design adopted for this study was a survey. A survey conducted on “susu” collectors to ascertain the problems they face.
The survey helps find answers to research questions in order to get information needed for the research. Critically examining the research questions, it was realized that a survey was the most suitable research design for the study of information. The survey was aided by questionnaire and interview. This method gives a quantitative means of establishing relationship among variables. Population The population for the study was from “susu” collectors and “susu” co-operative members in Bantama sub-metro. This population was made up of rotating “susu” collectors, “susu” agents nd other “susu” co-operative members. Sampling The members of this study were selected through convenience and purposive sampling by relying on “susu” collectors and “susu” co-operative union members. The sample size included twenty (20) “susu” collectors and five (5) “susu co-operative members. For reasons including lower cost, greater accuracy of results, greater speed of data collection and availability of population subjects, the researcher used convenience and purposive method of sampling. Though convenience sampling is the least reliable design, the researcher chose convenience ampling because it was the cheapest and easiest to conduct. The researcher had the freedom to choose whoever was found. This method of sampling was used to test ideas and even to gain ideas about the subject of interest. In this study, the researcher wanted to talk to only those directly engaged in the collection of contributions of the “susu” scheme hence purposive sampling was used. The researcher found it very useful and appropriate in the early stages of the research. In all, a total number of twenty-five (25) subjects were pulled from two (2) operating “susu” schemes in the sub-metro.
This was made up of twenty (20) “susu” collectors and five (5) other “susu” co-operative union members. Data collection instruments The researcher used interview and questionnaire as instruments to gather information needed for the study. The interview approach was aimed at finding out the views of individual “susu” collectors from various “susu” groups, “susu” administrators and other members of the scheme. The issues upon which the interview schedule was based on was the administrative problems faced by “susu” collectors. In all, nine (9) items were in the interview.
This interview was however unstructured. The “susu” collectors and other members of the “susu” scheme who could read answered the questionnaire. In designing the questionnaire schedule, the researcher considered the degree and form of structure imposed on the respondents. He used various response strategies; offer options that included unstructured open-ended response (the free choice of words) and structured or close response (specified alternatives provided). Free response nature of some of the questions offered the respondents the opportunity to express themselves extensively.
The respondents were all literates so there were no difficulties in administering the questions. Different questions were designed for the different target groups (based on the objectives of the study in chapter one) to obtain the primary and secondary information as well as data from the field. The questionnaires designed for the respondent comprised open-ended questions and objective questions. In all Twenty- six (26) items were in the questionnaire. Data collection procedures Copies of the questionnaire were self-administered upon gaining access to participants.
The questionnaire incorporated open-ended questions and was couched in simple language. With this process, a lot of data can be gotten with relative ease from different people within a shorter period. The collection of data covered a period of two weeks. The “susu” collectors were interviewed on-the-job with an interview lasting for an average of ten (10) minutes. Questionnaires were sent to “susu” collectors at their offices and on-the-job. R respondent were given two (2) weeks for the questionnaires. The questionnaires were collected personally and the rate of return of the questionnaires was 100%.
Validity and Reliability of data collected. For the purpose of validity, the researcher made sure that all the information obtained from the respondents were the true answers to the interview and questionnaires designed for them. Again any form of misconstrues in the minds of the respondents concerning the understanding of the question and how to complete them were explained to clear their minds. Finally, for the benefit of validity and reliability of data, the researcher deemed it right to use convenience and purposive method of sampling to avoid high cost and errors. Data analysis
The technique for analyzing data was by quantitative and qualitative techniques. The major findings were analysed in percentage points and resented in tables and charts. CHAPTER FOUR RESULTS OF THE STUDY Introduction This chapter gives the findings and analyzes the data collected for the study. This analysis involves the use of quantitative and qualitative techniques. The major findings were then presented in percentages and resented in tables and charts. Data gathered from the findings could be evaluated to come out with the shortcomings of the operations of “susu” collectors and spell ut the strategies necessary for improvement. Response from questionnaire to each area of interest. |”Susu” Group |People of interest |Questionnaire |Response | | | | |Number |Percentage | |Garden City savings and loans |”susu” collectors |10 |9 |95% | | |Members of co-operative union |3 |2 |66. % | |”Gye Nyame “susu” center |”susu” collectors |10 |10 |100% | | |Members of co-operative union |2 |2 |100% | Out of the sample size of twenty (20), nineteen (19) responded, representing about 95% of the “Susu” collectors from the two “susu” groups on the sub-metro. Out of the sample size of five 5), from other members of co-operative union, four (4) responded representing about 80%. In terms of “susu” groups assigned to respond, response ranges from 95% to 100% representing 95% of “susu” collectors assigned from Garden city savings and loans and 100% to “susu” collectors assigned from ‘Gye Nyame “susu” center’. With the response of members of “susu” co-operative union the percentage range was 66. 79% to Garden city saving and loans and 100% to ‘Gye Nyame “susu” center’. The following are the findings:
What problems exist in the Administration of “susu” scheme? The problem identified by Howard et, al (2000) was that “susu” collectors were unused in having an apex organization to represent them. Ghana-vision 2020 programme of action for the first medium-term development plan (June 1998-2000) stated that the working capital provided by “susu” groups in Ghana were not geared towards long-term investment financing. According to the report of Financial Accountability and Management (August 2004), the development of susu” credit unions does not conform to a single universal blueprint and homogeneity does not pertain. The researcher wanted to find out whether or not “susu” collectors had administrators. 100% of the response to this question was “yes”. It was further observed that most “susu” groups had the “susu” group administrator as the highest of authority on the organizational structure. Below shows the organizational structure of most “susu” groups in Bantama sub-metro; | | |SCHEME ADMINISTRATOR | | | | | |  |  |  |  | | | | |  | | | |  | | |SCHEME MANAGER | | |SCHEME ACCOUNTANT | | | | |  |  | | | | | | |  | | | | | | | |”SUSU” AGENTS | | | | | | |  | | | | | | | |”SUSU” COLLECTORS | | | The above figure is the organizational chat which determine how people, task, technological and material resources were been grouped. This speed up working activities and enhance effective, efficient, harmonization and good co-ordination.
About 53% of response to the questions 8 and 9 with which the researcher wanted to find out if “susu” collectors faced administrative problems was “yes”. Which represented ten (10) out of the nineteen (19) responses to the questions. Response to the administrative problems. |Response |Number interviewed |Percentage (%) | |Yes |10 |53 | |No |9 |47 |
Some of the administrative problems stated included: Bureaucratic problems. Low salary to “susu” collectors frequent absenteeism of top management. The strict and rigidity of rules and regulation Rules and regulations. A questionnaire was designed to find out the rules and regulations used for the administration of the scheme. The response was that, the rules and regulations which serve as a form of controlling checks and balances of the scheme helps to keep the accounting books and records accordingly. The rules and regulations for keeping financial records at the various schemes were the strict use of (ATF) accounting system treasury and financial reporting guidelines. It also nvolves the reporting hierarchy of the scheme from the “lower susu collectors” up the organizational chart to the highest of the structure. About 62% of the “susu” collectors complained of the rules and regulations being so strict and made no room for changes. Salary The researcher observed that the salary structure of “susu” collectors in Bantama sub-metro ranges from ? 400,000 to ? 700,000. “Susu” collectors in the sub-metro complained of their salary although most of them knew they had no ‘better’ qualification to earn much salary. They compare the cumulative amount deducted from their clients as commission for them with the amount given to them at the end of the month. About 70% of the “susu” collectors interview evealed this to the researcher during the interview. Budget Budget was drawn to help financial plan for a period of time. Monies allocated were used for specified purposes. The budget had been prepared annually for the scheme by the general accountant who is the head of the budget implementation team. The team according to Garden city savings and loans is made up of the scheme administrator, the general accountant, the scheme manager, and five (5) senior members of “susu” collectors. The component of the revenue side of the budget is made up of income from “susu” contributions, interest on “susu” contributions invested into other businesses, and loans. The expenditure side of the budget onsist of spending on personnel emolument, administrative, services, and investment. The problem “susu’ collectors in Bantama sub-metro have with this budget is that, they are not usually considered in the plan. What measures do “susu” collectors adopt to ensure the safety of contributions? According to Aryeetey (2000) most informal savings schemes (including “susu” collectors) use banking facilities for deposits. The “susu” collectors use the banking facilities extensively to safeguard their funds. The researcher also found out that, to safeguard their funds, proper financial books were kept. Monies were also deposited at the banks for safekeeping. Financial books kept and their uses. Books |Uses | | | | |Cash book |For recording income and expenditure | | | | |Expenditure budget ledger |Recording expenditure against budget | | | | |Debtors ledger |Recording credit and payments made by “susu” | | | | | |contributors. | | | |Debtors control |Total of credits and payments made by all | | | | | |“susu” contributors and other creditors | To ensure the safety of contribution deposited by contributors, these books are kept in addition to depositing the amount at the bank. Almost all “susu” groups in the Bantama sub-metro keep these books; 100% of the 19 responses received revealed this to the researcher. Monitoring team The researcher found that, the schemes or “susu” groups had a strong monitoring team that is made up of personnel ranging from twelve (12) to sixteen (16). The monitoring team meets monthly.
The team checks and controls financial activities. This results in effectiveness and efficiency of work in the operation of the scheme. Personal interviews were held to find out if there had been any research work on problems facing “susu” collectors in their operations and if external auditors audited their books. The responses were that, there were auditors and those were the independent auditors outside the scheme who inspects accounting books to find out if they were kept on justification and to give feedback to shareholders. They audit the books yearly to ensure the safety of the contributions. Who are those involved in the “susu” scheme?
Ndeh (1998) indicated that people mostly involved in the “susu” scheme were women. Ardener and Burnan (1995) found that, women traders and farmers were mostly involved in the “susu” scheme. Most “susu” collectors in Ghana were women. Caselli . F (1998) also found that traders , cart pushers, apprentices, mechanism drivers and sometimes farmers and fishermen were mostly involved in the “susu” scheme. The researcher also found out that, about 90% of “susu” contributors were women. This was made known to the researcher when about 95% of “susu” collectors confirmed that their clients were women traders. “susu” collectors at the various “susu” group. “Susu” Group |Female |Male | | | | | |Garden City |28 |6 | | | | | |savings and loans | | | | | | | |“Gye nyame” |10 |4 | | | | | |“susu” center | | | From the table above, it could be observed that out of the total number of “susu” collectors from the two “susu” groups of forty-eight (48), thirty-eight (38) of these “susu” collectors are female representing 79% and ten (10) out of forty-eight (48) are male representing only 21%. This reveals that the majority of “susu” collectors in the Bantama sub-metro are females. Educational qualification of respondents. Level of Education |Number Interviewed |Percentage (%) | | | | | |Tertiary education |2 |8 | | | | | |Post secondary |8 |32 | | | | | |Technical school |5 |20 | | | | | |Vocational school |10 |40 | The observation made from the table and the pie chart indicated that as much as 40% of the “susu” collectors interviewed had vocational education, 20% had technical education, 32% had ost secondary education, and 8% had tertiary education. What problems do collectors face with their clients? Aryeetey et, al (1990) said besides the difficulty of operating a bank account, the distribution of banks and low levels of literacy in Ghana especially among traders, makes the informal saving practical for certain categories of people. “Susu” collectors face problems with the high illiteracy rate among the traders among the problem. This was made known to the researcher during the study. Out of the nineteen (19) responses received from “susu” collectors from the two (2) “susu” groups, eighteen (18) representing 94. 7% responded “Yes” to having problems with their clients.
Some problems included documentation problems: That is the problems mostly faced with the illiterate clients. Majority of the trader-contributors do not understand the operations of the scheme and accuse “susu” collectors of being ‘fraud agents’ in times of any delays in payment of their contributed amount. How does the scheme operate? Referring to the literature review, Aryeetey (1998) found that, the “olus” or “susu” collectors go to markets and hawkers to collect daily savings. The “susu” contributor chooses the amount he or she can deposit each day, and the collector records this amount on a card, indicating some personal information about the depositor.
No formal agreement exists between the saver and the collector. The scheme is based entirely on personal trust and relationship. Some collectors do make credit facilities available to some of their traders. Such facilities sometimes attract interest on the credits. “Susu” collectors were entitled to the first daily contribution as commission. The money collected from various contributors are sent to the agent of the scheme which is later deposited at the bank for save keeping. The researcher also found that, the monies collected by the rotating “susu” collectors daily are submitted to “susu” agents who are also called senior “susu” collectors to render accounts on the mount collected. “susu” agents renders accounts to the general accountant. The monies are then deposited at the bank or reinvested into businesses to earn interest. To ensure the safety of contributions , monies are invested into high interest earning business. Monies deposited to the banks are redrawn with the bureaucratic system were executives endorse the cheque. It includes the endorsement of the general accountant, scheme manager and scheme administrator. In cases where a contributor wanted to collect a contribution, the “susu” collector is informed a day before the collection. If the “susu” collector is not informed a day before the collection of the ontribution and he or she feels the amount collected from “susu” contributors are enough, the “susu” collectors pays the amount demanded. The “susu” collector collects the contribution card or book within which the “susu” collector ticks and sends it to the office of “susu” group for clearance. The researcher also observed that, depositors with “susu” collectors usually increases the amount of their deposits in November, often doubling them. They do so obviously to ensure that they are able to save adequately towards anticipated expenditure for Christmas. Interest and collateral base Broham, John (2000) found that on the credit side, the advances made by the “susu” ollectors to their regular depositors are usually of low value, very short term ( less than one year) provided in an interest free basis without collateral and disbursed immediately if the money is at hand. The money lenders advance loans on interest higher than the banks but without collateral, and disbursed very quickly if the client is known. The researcher wanted to know how lending capital was raised and allocated. For “susu” collectors, mobilized deposits were their only lending bases. The capital base of most “susu” operations in Bantama sub-metro appeared to have grown considerably in nominal terms since their activities began. Various institutions were able to determine whether he base had grown in real terms, by how much their clientele had grown. They suggested that they had seen real growth over the years. ”susu” collectors in Bantama sub-metro granted an average loan of ?450,000 in 2004, with a repayment schedule of one month. The longest maturity period offered by “susu” collectors was three month. Here, also the loan amounts were often about the same size as were requested by clients. Thus it would seem that “susu” collectors do not normally scale down the amount requested by clients; in fact, they indicate that their clients know what is reasonable to expect. In 2004, the largest loan amount granted by a”susu” collector was 2,500,000 and the smallest ? 200,000 indicating the flexibility of the system. “susu” collectors cannot grant longer-term loans given the short-term nature of their deposit liabilities. Here, also, the difference in the average size of urban and rural loans was statically significant. The loan amount of a rotating “susu” group is equivalent to the total amount contributed by its members at an agreed-upon time. The size of these cash contributions vary widely from one group to another. Members usually choose an amount that will yield a sizable enough fund for them to make ‘large’ purchases or to provide working capital for business. The appropriated size ay thus be derived from the cost of some of the goods that members wanted to buy, including household appliances and building materials. Some of the amounts being applied in the public departments of some urban areas are about 10% of the salaries of junior civil servants each month, yielding an intake (or loan amount) of ? 900,000. Most “susu’ collectors do not charge interest on their loans because all they do is advance amounts equivalent to what clients are obliged to save, less their own commission at about 3. 3% each month for the 30% of the sample who do charge interest on loans; particularly to non- depositor clients. It is obvious that when “susu” collectors decree to lend to non-clients they ehave like typical moneylenders, with the exception-that “susu” collectors intermediate funds that are mobilized through “susu” collection. However, in view of the high-risk and short-term nature of this activity, its scope is limited. In reference to collateral, “susu” collectors take security for granted in view of the nature of association. Thus, many “susu” collectors require security only when they lend to non-deposit clients (40% of the sample of collectors) and almost 70% of the cooperatives do not require security. Why do people engage in “susu”? Aryeetey (1996) found out in his research into the operations, utilizations, and changes in otating “susu” savings in Ghana that, in an economic climate where several social groups in the workforce find that their access to informal institutions is limited due to their socio-economic handicap, informal institutions such as “susu” are bond to flourish. According to World Bank (1995), in areas where banking systems offer low quality services: The processing of deposit and redrawal takes several hours then “susu” is bond to flourish. Out of the four (4) “susu” contributors interviewed, three (3) representing 75% agreed to the fact that they engage in the “susu” because banks may be away from them but the “susu” collectors come to collect the daily contribution at their own convenience. All the four (4) agreed o the fact that many banking systems offer low quality services: the processing of deposits and withdrawal takes several hours and in some instances customer find no cash and must revisit the bank for withdrawal. CHAPTER FIVE Summary, conclusion and recommendations Introduction This chapter summarizes the findings in the study and draws conclusions on them. Finally it gives recommendations as to how to solve the problems entailed in the previous chapter and gives possible suggestions to improve on the operations of “susu” scheme by “susu” collectors. Summary The objective of this research carried on was to investigate on the problems facing “susu” collectors in the Bantama sub-metro.
During the study, it was realized that “susu” groups and “susu” collectors kept good records on their activities. The majority of the “susu” collectors were females and majority of them had vocational school certificate. The “susu” groups prepared budget yearly with funds sourced from “susu” contributors re-invested into other businesses to raise enough interest to match against expenditure. Rules and regulations were set to be a guideline for book keeping at various “susu” groups. Appropriate budgetary system was conducted and financial books for various activities were kept properly and were used for different purposes except that “susu” collectors were not actively involved. A monitoring team hat checks the financial operations had been set up and external auditors audited the financial books kept strictly annually. “susu” collectors are attractive to low-income earners who need short-term working capital. The relatively low interest rate makes lending even more attractive, as does the possibility that repayment can be made daily in small amounts. Although the loans amounts are relatively small, their regularity enables many traders to smoothing their expenditure patterns by making immediate payments to suppliers and thus ensuring a regular flow of supplies. The small size of the loans and their very short maturity periods do not make them very useful for small and micro enterprises.
Lastly a research work that was to be conducted on the improvement of operations of the “susu” scheme was yet to be done. Conclusion From the information obtained from the questionnaires and interviews, a conclusion needs to be drawn to assess the operations and problems faced by “susu” collectors in the country. The subheadings below present the conclusion: Administrative problems. Rules and regulations are set for “susu” groups with regards to the reporting guidelines and the proper action to be taken on the books kept at various “susu’ schemes. The “susu” groups were supposed to use the ATF reporting guidelines. The majority of “susu” collectors in
Bantama sub-metro expressed their discomfort with this guideline stating it was so rigid and inflexible. The work of the external or independent auditors helps to prevent fraud and irregularities in the operations of the “susu” scheme. However, “susu” collectors expressed their discomfort when the external auditors are at the premises of the “susu” group stating that they distract and interrupt their daily operations and work. The daily budget drawn was to help a financial plan for a period of time. Many items of expenditure were mostly considered to match revenue for per year. “susu” collectors were not happy with the budget because they were not mostly considered in the budget as an expenditure item.
Organization and operational problems As it was observed in the previous chapter, for a contribution to be redrawn by a contributor, he or she needs to inform the “susu” collector a day before the collection. “susu” contributors expressed their annoyance with the system and mistrust with this operation. This has been a problem “susu” collectors face with this operation. The “susu” groups offer jobs for the unemployed of this country and in so doing reduces the problem of high rate of unemployment. However “susu” collectors expressed their dissatisfaction with the amount they receive as salary especially during the month of November where most susu” collectors’ client and deposits per “susu” contributor increases in size. The monitoring team had not done enough study to ascertain the problems “susu” collectors face and even if they had done that. No effort was made to address these problems. Also the various “susu” groups have personnel with varying educational background like those identified in the previous chapter. How ever the groups do not set a specific standard of qualification required. The analysis in the previous chapters reveals that “susu” collectors cannot grant longer-term loans given the short-term nature of their deposit liabilities. Also the loan amount of a rotating susu” group is equivalent to the total amount contributed by its members at an agreed-upon time. Most “susu” collectors do not charge interest on their loans because all they do is advance amounts equivalent to what clients are obliged to save, less their own commission. This reduces the profitability of “susu” groups as well as has effects on the salary of “susu” collectors. “susu” collectors require security only when they lend to non-deposit clients. “susu” collectors tend to face problems when some client fails to pay amount loaned to them. To conclude it all, “susu” collectors face administrative problems as well as problems in the organization and operation of the scheme. Recommendation.
To improve upon the operation of the “susu” scheme in Bantama sub-metro after identifying the problems they face. The suggestions below should be taken into consideration. Rotating “susu” collectors association (ROSCA) should review the ATF guidelines regularly to ensure consistent application of the accounting standards to the accounting books kept. The budget implementation team should also ensure that, “susu” collectors problems are identified and included in the budget and ensure that funds are solely spent according to what has been budgeted. ROSCA should also set up an accounting advisory unit to update the accountant on proper books keeping and accounting which will facilitate proper planning and decision.
In every institution, there must be a control mechanism in order to ensure effectiveness and efficiency. ROSCA should appoint internal auditors who will work permanently for “susu” groups alongside a set of rules and regulations to govern the conduct of these internal auditors. Regular research work must be encouraged by way of providing researchers with the needed information in order to determine the shortfalls of the operations of “susu” collectors. “susu” deposits should be educated on the operation of the scheme in order to avoid frequent blaming of “susu” collectors. To raise the amount of salary for “susu” collectors, a low interest should be charged to regular clients.
This is to get enough funds to pay “susu” collectors. “susu” collectors should demand collateral security before loans can be advanced. This is to avoid the risk of loosing money in the operation of the scheme. The researcher supposes that, if the above suggestions recommended are carried out, it would improve upon the operations of the “susu” scheme by “susu” collectors in the Bantama sub- metro. Suggestions for further research. Research work conducted was limited to problems facing “susu” collectors in the Bantama sub-metro. The researcher therefore suggest further research work on the problems facing “susu” collectors in other sub-metros in Kumasi and Ghana at large. RESEARCH QUESTIONNAIRE

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