Susu Collector’s Contribution To Ghana’s GDP
Traditionally Susu has been one of the oldest forms of savings methodology in Ghana. Thriving on the backdrop of interpersonal relationships, trust and confidence, this form of business operation has been able to withstand the test of time. Today almost all the Commercial Banks and Non-Banking FinancialInstitutions (NBFIs) use this model to mop up funds from clientswithin the informal sector. The Ghana Cooperative Susu Collectors Association (GCSCA), an umbrella body of registered susu collectors in the country was formed in 1994 to self-regulate, monitor and supervise its members. The Bank of Ghana by its Tier system in 2011, mandated the association to carry out the monitoring and supervision role, which the later has been able to discharged creditably in spite of logistical and financial constraints. The association can boast of offices in all the ten (10) regions in Ghana.
Membership and Reporting
Membership of the association has been fluctuating over the years, however, at the end of December 2016, the total membership of the association stood at six hundred and twenty- eight (628)with over five hundred (500) being Bank of Ghana licensed members nationwide. This shows a positive upward trend as compared to a total membership of four hundred and seventy-two (472) in 2013.
The Central Bank in partnership with the German Development Corporation (GiZ) developed a prudential reporting template for susu operators to capture monthly operational information on their business. This information is channeled through the respective regional offices to the national office for an aggregated report to be developed quarterly. Within the first year of the roll out of the template, the association identified a lot of gaps in the reports submitted by operators and this was traced to improper accounting and inaccurate bookkeeping among others. To counter this, the association embarked ona series of trainings for members with support from the Rural and Agriculture FinanceProgramme (RAFiP). This has resulted in a massive improvement on reporting.
By close of the year 2016, a total of three hundred and thirty-four (334) representing fifty-three percent (53%) of the entire membership of susu operators submitted at least a month’s report on their business activity.
Graph 1: Submission of reports by members
This shows a better improvement compared to the previous years. It is hoped that with time the situation would be much improved looking at measures the association has put in place to ensure members report accordingly. The introduction of software by some operators has also aided their mode of reporting. The association is in consultation with software developers to come out with systems that could easily help susu operators capture information as it occurs and also monitor activities on the field, especially for those who have employed field agents.
Graph 2: Total Number of Reports
The expected total number of reports that the association expected from operators for 2016 wereseven thousand five hundred and thirty-six (7,536) however only two thousand four hundred and eighty-two (2,482) representing thirty-three percent (33%) were received.The analysis therefore was based the reports received
The reports showed a total clientele of three and twenty- three thousand five hundred and sixteen (323,516). This is an indication that on average, each susu operator had nine hundred and sixty-nine (969) clients out of which 65% were females and 35%males. Women continue to be the greater number of contributors in this sector. A total of one hundred and six thousand, two hundred and one (106,201) new clients were added with eighty-three thousand, three hundred and thirteen (83,313)existing clients dropping out.
Graph 3: Clientele of susu operators
The above indicates that for every old client that was lost, 1.3 new clients were added. It can be deduced from the above that, Susu Enterprises over the year maintained their clientele base with no net loss of clients. Clientele growth was about thirty-three percent (33%).
The average mobilization for the year was six hundred and six thousand, nine hundred and fifty Ghana cedis (GH¢606,950).It was concluded that about forty-three percent (43%) of these mobilized funds,passed through the financial institutions in the country- saved with the banks. This phenomenon is a direct result of the nature of the Susu business and the proximity of banks to the offices of operators. On the other hand, the average withdrawals per an enterpriseindicated an amount of six hundred and sixteen thousand, six hundred and fifty-nine Ghana cedis (GH¢616,659). Further reports indicated a bank withdrawal of aboutthirty-five percent (35%)of these monies.
Graph 4: Average Mobilization and Withdrawals by an Operator
But for the year 2016, withdrawals exceeded mobilization by almost two percent (2%), this was attributed to the national elections. Average susu balance outstanding, which is the amount of mobilised monies at the disposal of susu operators stood at sixty-four thousand, seven hundred and twenty-eight Ghana Cedis, forty-two pesewas (GH¢64,728.42). These are normally held by the susu operator as cash at hand, cash at bank and investments in liquid assets.
The total liquidity reserve ratio of Susu enterprises stood at one hundred and twenty-two percent (122%) whilst the liquidity reserve at bank ratio indicated one hundred and twelve percent (112%). This means that Susu enterprises had the ability to meet the demands of clients with a greater percentage of these reserves in banks.
The average income of Susu Enterprises stood at twenty-seven thousand two hundred and forty-six Ghana cedis, forty-seven pesewas (GH¢27,246.47) representing (4.4%) of average mobilization. The Susu enterprise on average incurred an amount of eighteen thousand six hundred and ninety-nine Ghana cedis, eighty-nine pesewas (GH¢18,699.89) as expense representing (3.08%) of average mobilization. Net income on average amounted to eight thousand five hundred and forty-six Ghana cedis forty-eight pesewas (GH¢8,546.48) representing(1.41%)of mobilization.
Graph 5: Average Income and Expense of the Susu Collector
The income to expense ratio was one hundred and forty-six (146%) meaning the income of Susu enterprises could cover up to one hundred and forty-seven (147) times the expense incurred in running the business. Net income to total income ratio was thirty-one percent (31%). This further explains that Susu enterprises kept 31% of their income as profit. Clients deposit to income ratio stood at 4.4% whilst total expense to total deposit ratio was 3%.
Total contribution to the Susu Investment Fund (SIF) amounted to one hundred and seventy-three thousand, four hundred and eighty-four Ghana cedis (GH¢173,485.00). This translated into a contribution of five hundred and nineteen Ghana cedis, forty-two pesewas (GH¢519.42) per member. Insurance fund as a percentage to deposits outstanding was 0.80%. This means that in the event that Susu Enterprises are unable to meet the demands of clients, the SIF fund can pay only 0.80% of client’s deposits.
A total of one thousand six hundred and thirty-two (1,632) workers were employed by Susu enterprises, out of which forty-four percent (44%) were males whilst fifty-six percent (56%) were females. On average each Susu enterprise employs five (5) people with at least three (3) being mobile bankers oragents.
Susu Performance to GDP
Ghana Statistical Services, Provisional 2016 Annual Gross National Product, April 2017 Edition shows that, Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at one hundred and sixty-seven trillion, three hundred and fifteen million Ghana Cedis (GH¢167,315,000,000) for the year 2016 as compared to one hundred and thirty eight trillion, seven hundred and forty-eight billion Ghana Cedis (GH¢138,748,000,000)in 2015.
The contribution of the Financial and Insurance Services to GDP was fourteen trillion, seven hundred and eleven million Ghana Cedis (GH¢14,711,000,000) representing approximately nine percent (9%)
A total of GH¢202m was mobilized by susu operators representing 0.12% of 2016 GDPand 1.4% of the GDP of Financial and Insurance Services.However,these percentages would have greatly improved if all members were consistently reporting on their business operations at the end of every month. It is projected that if all members report on their operations, Susu sector contribution to Financial and Insurance Services would be between three (3) to five (5) percent or more.
The importance of susu business in Ghana cannot be over emphasized looking at its contribution to national development in the area of making bankable smaller denominations mopped up from the informal sectorand also creating employment for a cross section of the populace. Despite limited resources at its disposal, the Association with its dedicated workforce believe that with some level of support logistically and financially, we could improve not only the working environment, but also susucollectors’ operations in the country.