In what many viewed as a boost for credit union, the president of the Republic of The Gambia has donated D0.5M to cabinet minister in order to kick-start a “Cabinet Credit Union”.
At a presentation ceremony on Monday at the Cabinet Room in State House, Jammeh presented a Trust Bank Savings Account booklet to his vice president, advising ministers to make best use of the initiative.
“It is inline with my pledge to make sure that the Cabinet also has a credit union just like any other institution, I hereby present to the Cabinet through you, the [vice president], this Savings Account book with a sum of five hundred thousand dalasi to kick-start operating a Cabinet Credit Union,” he told them.
47-year old Jammeh urged the ministers to work with the vice president and put up a mechanism of contributing monthly to the union’s account.
I his words: “The idea of a credit union is a wonderful one; however for any credit union to survive, when you borrow, you must carry forward and pay. If you borrow without paying, the credit union will be dead. Sometimes in Cabinet, you have unexpected occurrence where we need to put funds together, assist one person or the other. Because of the lack of such a fund, sometimes it is difficult for members to contribute meaningfully. I think with this fund, you will be able to take care of any eventualities comfortably without any hardship.”
A win-win or win-loose scenario
The Gambian leader stressed that membership of the union is for all ministers whether they are in Cabinet or not. He said in the event that a minister is no more in cabinet and owes the union, his or her money will be deducted from what he/she contributed and the balance will be given back to him/her.
This however, lead analysst to think about the proposal; often ending up with a thought that Jammeh is trying to create a situation whereas his cabinet ministers will give back to the cabinet their little salaries. In the event a minister is sacked, the situation could be abhorrent.
However, Jammeh quickly said: “We are not taking anybody’s money. It is a credit union, if you leave whatever is not used, your balance will be given back to you and still you can be a member of the union because once a member you are always a member, whether you are out of Cabinet or not because we are not supposed to friends when you are here and enemies when you leave unless you have other motives. In the event that you leave, the choice is yours. If you want, you take your balance, if you want, you leave it and continue being part of it.”