The Gambia Teachers' Union Cooperative Credit Union made a net profit of D188, 918 during the year 2011.
This figure was unveiled yesterday at the Annual General Meeting of the Union held at the St.Therese's Upper Basic School in Kanifing.
It is important to make profit thereby allowing the union to expand, but the emphasis according to Saikou Danso, the Registrar of Cooperatives, should be what the Union can do for its members.
Mr. Danso, who gave the keynote address at the GTUCCU Annual General Meeting, reminded the executive that its core issue is service, not charity.
"Interest gained from the loan to members has gone up to D6, 774 213," said Danso, who is of the view that the Union had loaned out a huge sum of money in its attempt to respond to the needs of its members.
Despite the enormous profit made by the GTUCCU last year, the Registrar of Cooperatives said in the face of the global economic melt down there is a need to curb expenditure.
"We have to be proactive. We try to cut some of the expenditure that we feel we should make. We try to be very wise and economical in the way we do things," Danso said while suggesting the cost involved in transportation and up-keeping of generators could be cut down.
He further urged the executive to heed the concerns of the membership, while calling on the members to voice out their problems.
He assured that Government is willing and committed to make sure that the ground is levelled for credit unions and micro finance organisations.
The Government, according to him, realised the contributions of credit unions to the national economy.
He cited what he called the tremendous achievements and contributions of the teachers' credit union, while promising that Government will stand by them in times of difficulty.
The Annual General Meeting did not only provide an opportunity for the members to carve a direction for their union, but it also gave them the chance to ask the board questions that have been bothering them, said Mr.Babucarr Jeng, head of National Association of Cooperative Credit Unions of The Gambia.
He said GTUCCU being a service provider has challenges in its quest to deliver.
Among the challenges are education and the understanding of the services and how they will be provided, according to Jeng.
He further said there is a need for a strong regulatory environment upon which the credit unions can operate.
Jeng appealed that there be a strong regulatory environment, because, as he puts it, they are moving on and as they move they need assurance that they are moving on the right direction.
The only way they are sure that they are on the right direction, Jeng said, "Is that when we put the regulatory environment in its correct perspective, and in particular recognising the role of credit unions as unique."
He also called for the strengthening of governance in the credit unions, saying the different roles of the various committees should be defined.
The opening ceremony of the GTUCCU Annual General Meeting was chaired by Mr. Edrissa Bojang.
It was attended by members drawn from all the regions of the country.