OISL Launches Loan Package For Persons With Disabilities

Loan project for DisabbledThe Opportunity International Savings and Loans Limited (OISL), a financial institution, has developed and launched a loan package, with low interest rates for persons with disabilities.

The package would help reduce the challenges faced by persons with disabilities, when accessing funds from the group. Speaking at the launch of the OILS/Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled Collaboration Product (GSPD), in Accra on Tuesday, the acting Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Kwame Owusu-Boateng, said his outfit ,was a ready to provide the opportunity for every individual, irrespective of their race, religion, abilities and disabilities.

He said the high interest rates, lack of documentation and collateral demanded by financial institutions, remained a hindrance to people with disabilities.

Mr. Boateng noted that after several meetings with the GSPD in 2012, the group piloted the scheme with a group at Nkawkaw, by providing them with loans to support their businesses.

The company, he stated, garnered from the pilot that some persons with disabilities were economically active with good cash flows, adding that their income levels were not different from regular clients.

He said the company had worked with different groups of clients which include artisans, market women, farmers, fish mongers and people from all sectors of the economy.

According to him, the company’s portfolio as of July 2013 was GH¢62, 438, 718, adding that the company was honoured to assist persons with disabilities.

“We have also seen great improvement in their savings cultures and hope that this trend will continue, so as to wean them of loans, which is our long term goal,” he stated. He said the company was licensed by the Bank of Ghana in June 2004 and began operations as a saving and loans company in September 2004.

The company, he noted, was established out of the desire to impact the lives of the entrepreneurial poor in the country.
The Project Manager of the GSPD, Madam Diana Akuamoah Boateng, on her part said the group was formed to identify and disseminate information about the needs of persons with disabilities and advocate for support.

She said the society aimed at promoting and encouraging formal education, vocational and skills training among  its members. Madam Akuamoah Boateng noted that in 2008, a project named Micro-Credit and Savings Scheme was formed, to improve the livelihood of its members and strengthen the organisational capacity of GSPD.

She said OISL had started assisting members of GSPD, financially, in five districts, which include Ejisu-Juabeng, Koforidua, Sefwi Wiawso, Nkawkaw and Kasoa.

GSPD, she stated, expected a lasting and longer cooperation and support with the OISL. The Head of Transformation for OISL,Madam Vivian Akofa Motery, said very few persons with disabilities had access to microfinance currently, leading to disabled persons demanding for better access to mainstream financial services and products such as credit, savings and insurance as well as non-financial services.

She said OISL had a belief that a disability was not an inability, but with the right support, persons with disabilities could contribute to society. –  Christabel Akoto-Manu    

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