Accra, July 28, GNA- For so many years, the then Builsa District in the Upper East Region, was without a financial institution, which hampered the growth of economic activities in the area.
Farmers, local enterprises, civil and public servants had to travel a number of kilometers to nearby communities like Navrongo and Bolgatanga to access financial services.
The idea of having a Bank to attend to the financial needs of the people of Buluk had been on the drawing board since the late 1980s.
The operation of the defunct Co-Operative Bank was short-lived in the District as the Bank closed down its Sandema Office in 1990 after less than four years of operations.
Ghana Commercial Bank Limited at that time concluded that the District was not viable for its branch operations and as such it declined a request from the then District Assembly for opening a branch in Sandema.
The need for a bank, hospital, an accessible road network and electricity became the major interventions that consistently featured in the speeches and messages trumpeted by the late Overlord of Buluk, Nab Dr Ayieta Azantilow at every annual Feok festival and other important gatherings where policy makers and key stakeholders were in attendance.
The late Sandem Nab’s perseverance on the matter was finally rewarded as the then Builsa District Assembly, Mr Daniel Syme, (the then DCE of the Assembly), prominent individuals, groups and associations worked tenaciously and got Builsa Community Bank Limited (Bucobank) incorporated as a Limited Liability Company in April, 1996.
By October the same year, the Head Office of the Bank in Sandema was opened to customers for banking services.
The late Sandem Nab, inaugurated an Interim Management Committee (IMC) in 1988 and charged them with the responsibility of mobilising the needed capital and assets for the establishment of a rural bank in Sandema.
In August 1988, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) granted approval for the establishment of the proposed Bank, but that was not made possible.
Within the pre-establishment period of Bucobank, complaints of armed robbery, fatigue and inconveniences faced by business owners, civil and public servants, pensioners and other people who travelled to Navrongo and Bolgatanga to access financial services kept coming to Sandem Nab.
In May 1994, Nab Azantilow appealed to Mr Syme to use every means possible to ensure that a bank was established and owned by the people of Buluk to ameliorate the difficulties that they went through as well as to accelerate the needed development in the area.
Mr Syme, with the inspiration of the late Sandem Nab, got the District Assembly to pass a resolution for the setting up of a new IMC in November, 1994.
The IMC II was tasked with the responsibilities of organising people and resources for the purpose of establishing a rural bank in the District.
Members of the IMC II were drawn from the various sub-committees of the District Assembly and at its maiden meeting held on December 24, 1994, the leaders of the Committee were elected to various positions.
The Committee agreed and recommended the name ‘Builsa Rural Bank Ltd’ to the General Assembly for consideration.
The name was arrived at because of the homogeneity of the people within the catchment area who are predominantly Bulsa’s, and the fact that in the view of the IMC II that name would be suitable and acceptable to all with no antagonism from any section or communities within the area.
The Assembly later modified the name to Builsa Community Bank Limited so that in future it could be abbreviated to Bucobank in order to give it a universal acceptance as it has been branded today.
The IMC II held consultative meetings across the country and initially encountered challenges in trying to convince the people that their monies would properly be accounted for when the need arises.
To forestall any possible mismanagement of funds, the late Sandem Nab directed the IMC II to furnish him with periodic reports on the various amounts mobilized.
With determination, hard work and selfless effort of the IMC II, a total amount of GH¢1,283.40 was received in cash from the public as proceeds from sale of shares with GH¢1,728.00 as pledges as at August 20, 1995.
The District Assembly in a bid to ensure the successful establishment of Bucobank allocated the Assembly’s stores for use as the Banking premises.
In 2000, the Board of Directors of the Bank decided to acquire a plot of land at a strategic location in Sandema for future development and use for the Head Office of the Bank.
By 2008, the Bank had completed its Head Office building as envisioned by the Board of Directors and the late Sandem Nab.
Now as a strong and functional financial entity, Bucobank would hold its 16th Annual General Meeting on Saturday, July 30.