Story: Samuel Duodu, Jinijini
THE Nsoatreman Rural Bank in the Brong Ahafo Region has launched a new product dubbed: “Adesua Ahoboa”, which literally means, “Preparation Towards the Child’s Education”.
The product is aimed at helping parents and guardians to save the little money that they might consider as insignificant, and spend it towards the education of their children and wards.
A prospective client only needs as little as GH¢1 to open the savings account with the bank to benefit from the product, which has a high yielding interest rate.
Launching the product at Jinjini, a farming community in the Berekum District of the Brong Ahafo Region, Mr Philip Appiah-Mensah, the General Manager of the bank, said the decision of the bank to come out with such a product, was to help minimise the burden and frustration parents had to go through to raise money to pay the admission fees of their children after they had gained entry into senior high school (SHC).
He observed that apart from helping parents to save money towards the payment of admission and school fees at the SHS level, the savings could also be used to buy learning materials and pay for the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) registration fees.
According to Mr Appiah-Mensah, most parents in the rural areas could not afford the payment of WASSE registration fees, thereby making their children to drop out of school.
He said some parents and guardians, in their efforts to raise money to pay for the school fees of their wards at the secondary school level, fell victim to the exploitation of money lenders, who charged high interest rates on the money they gave out as loans.
Mr Appiah-Mensah explained that the product was a trust account, which would be held by the parent in the name of the child and when the child attained the age of 18 they could operate the account on their own.
He stated further that unlike the normal current and saving accounts, a prospective client must save for about one and half years before the one could withdraw and also access loans from the “Adesua Ahoboa” account.
Mr Appiah-Mensah, however, stated that there was a window of necessity, explaining that an emergency situation might crop up which needed immediate attention, and therefore holders of the accounts could withdraw cash after six months to meet the emerging expenditure concerning the education of the child.
He further stated that children of those who held that accounts also had the opportunity to enjoy the scholarship scheme instituted by the bank.
Mr Appiah-Mensah said the product would help mobilise the excess liquidity outside the banking sector, as well as encourage the youth to cultivate the habit of saving.
He gave the assurance that the bank would continue to develop innovative products in order to bring banking service to the doorsteps of the public.
The Secretary to the Board of Directors of the bank, Mr Eghan Augustus, re-emphasised the need for parents to take the education of their children seriously.
He stated that the bank had introduced the product at a time most parents had not prepared towards the academic progression of their children especially when they had completed the junior high school and gained admission to the SHS.
Mr Augustus, who is also a director of the bank, urged parents to take advantage of the product by opening accounts with the bank in order to save money towards the education of their children from the SHS to the tertiary level, since it was the greatest legacy they could bequeath to their children.