More than 250 traders in Accra have benefitted from the Government's ongoing national financial literacy campaign aimed at empowering the citizenry against fraudulent investment schemes and how to manage their finances prudently.
The programme, supported by representatives from various financial regulatory institutions, educated the traders on beneficial investment and pension schemes that would help sustain their businesses and secure their future.
Traders were warned against falling prey to unscrupulous individuals who promise insatiable and fast returns on their investments and were urged to report any doubts about schemes to the appropriate institutions.
The Government of Ghana sponsored the sensitization programme, conducted in Ga and Twi, with support from the World Bank.
The programme received institutional support from the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA), the National Insurance Commission (NIC), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Mrs Patience Arko-Boham, Chairperson of the Financial Educational Multi-Stakeholder Committee, explained that the programme aimed to make the populace well-informed about financial issues.
“It is to also help protect depositors' investment against unscrupulous persons, Ponzi and other fraudulent schemes and make Ghanaians manage their personal and business finances efficiently,” she emphasized.
Mr Andrew Ameckson, a representative from the Finance Ministry, highlighted the vulnerability of traders, particularly those in the informal sector, to schemes that aim to defraud them.
“This situation makes our market women and other traders lose their income and sometimes, collapse their businesses, pushing them into economic hardship,” he noted, underscoring the importance of the financial literacy campaign.
“We're therefore educating Ghanaians across the country, starting with our traders in Accra, to expose them to ways of identifying investment schemes that would be detrimental to their finances and businesses,” Mr Ameckson stated.
He urged the traders to be cautious and not subscribe to schemes that promise outrageous returns, encouraging them to share the knowledge they gained with other traders.
Mrs Deborah Freeman, General Secretary of the Union of Informal Workers Association (UNIWA), expressed appreciation to the Finance Ministry for organizing the event for workers in the informal sector.
“With the education received, I am confident that the traders will be well informed to make the right investment and financial management decisions and withstand those who would want to rip them off their ‘hard-earned income',” Mrs Freeman affirmed.
Madam Comfort Mensah, a trader at the Makola market, commended the programme for its benefits, stating, “There were a lot of things that I did not know, but from now, I will be able to protect my money from fraudsters.”
She expressed her intention to sign up for insurance coverage to provide financial security in case of any incidents, and she called on the ministry to extend the campaign to various markets across the country.
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