Background to the study
Personal saving may be voluntary; it can also be contractual through insurance
policies by insurance companies and also contributory if through the traditional
social security system or “susu“. “Susu” is a traditional form of saving where an
individual saves a fixed amount per day with a “susu” collector for a specified period, say
one month. At the end of the month, the Individual collects his or her total savings less
one day’s installment, which the “susu” collector deducts as commission. The higher the
number of clients of a “susu” collector, the higher the level of that collectors commission
at the end of each calendar month.
“Susu” is the popular name given to the rotating savings club in Ghana. It
is said to be of Yoruba origin, which is an adulteration of “esusu”. The term is
believed to have been introduced into Ghana by migrant Ibo traders before independence
in 1957, when formal banking had not caught up well with people especially the
indigenous illiterates folks who were mainly traders. With the Alien’s Compliance Order
in 1969 coming into force, these aliens left this legacy. Then came quite a number of
Ghanaians entering into the business as a result. A few unscrupulous persons also crept in
and some actually bolted away with their clients saving. (Aryeetey and Gockel, 1991)
In response to the increased cases of fraudulent practices of some “susu”
collectors in the late 1980’s, Ghana Co-operative “Susu” Collectors Association was
formed in 1990 in an attempt to regulate and supervise the activities of the “susu”
collectors. This association serves as the mouthpiece for all “susu” co-operatives in
Ghana. It is the agent that collects taxes on behalf of the commissioner of internal
revenue services and external credit facilities for its regional or district societies.
(Aryeetey, 2000) and Ardner (1964) echo an informal confirmation that “susu” was an ancient
institution prior to the introduction of the British currency. “Susu” was practiced by
Nigerian traders in Makola number (two) market in Accra. Apart from the term “susu”, the
rotating saving club is known by other names in different parts of Ghana. The Ewe’s generally
refer to the clubs as “edzodzo” or “eso dzodzo”. Whist among the Kotokole’s in the northern part
of the Volta region, it is known as “edeso” (I.P.C, 1988). In some quarters in Laura town the club
is known as “lekseque”.
Statement of the problem
People have realized the importance of “susu” scheme yet “susu” collectors
faces a lot of problems mobilizing contributors to participate in the scheme. A lot
of contributors have lost interest or back out of the scheme because of the bad
perception about “susu” collectors. Collectors find themselves wanting as sometimes
the group in which they join collapse as a result of embezzlement by the group
leaders. Some contributors also end up collecting their share of the money
contributed and refuse to contribute again. Banks that are involved in the saving
scheme also faces documentation problems with their clients.
Unfortunately the large amount of research on informal savings has not
investigated the problems facing the “susu” collectors. In pursuit of this research,
however, an attempt has been made to find the antecedent facts that leave the
“indigenous savings scheme” incapable of living up to expectation as far as
mobilisation, administration and management of funds are concerned.
Purpose of the study
The general purpose of this study was to discover the problems facing “susu”
collectors. The specific objectives of the study are;
1. To examine some silent points in the administration and management of “susu” schemes. 2. To identify how “susu” saving scheme is organized and...