ARTICLE 1: NAME AND ADDRESS
The Union shall be called “ECOWAS STAFF MUTUAL CREDIT UNION” (ESMCU).
The address is at “Plot 101, Yakubu Gowon Crescent,Asokoro, Abuja”
ARTICLE 2: OBJECTIVES
The Objectives of the Union are:
(a) To encourage savings among its members;
(b) To provide soft loans to its members;
(c) To invest funds of its members;
(d) To manage welfare packages for members
ARTICLE 3: STRATEGIC GOALS & VISION
(a) To be able to process all qualified applications for term loans or partial withdrawal from members within 48 hours;
(b) To become the foremost welfarist organization for catering for staff / member’s needs without hassles;
(c) To metamorphose into a viable & dependable micro finance institution within the ECOWAS framework.
ARTICLE 4: MEMBERSHIP
Membership is voluntary and it is open to all permanent and contract staff of ECOWAS Institutions. A registration fee of FCFA 20,000 is to be paid on joining.
ARTICLE 5: THE FUNDS OF THE UNION
The Funds of the Union shall be derived from:
(a) Registration fees of FCFA 20,000 per person;
(b) Savings of members;
(c) Interest income from loans and fixed deposit
(e) Miscellaneous income;
(f) Monies entrusted to the Union to manage on behalf of it’s members.
ARTICLE 6: MONTHLY SAVINGS
(a) Members of the Union shall make regular monthly savings which shall be deducted at source from members’ salaries; the Union can also receive bulk funds deposits from members who wish to increase their savings
(b) The minimum monthly savings shall be FCFA 50.000.
ARTICLE 7: LOANS AND REPAYMENTS
(i) There shall be two (2) types of loans, namely:
(a) NORMAL LOAN: This shall be granted when a member is qualified for such loan under the provisions of the rules and regulations;
(b) SPECIAL LAON: This shall be granted only in emergency situations.
(ii) A member qualifies for a loan six months after joining the Union;
(iii) The maximum loan shall not be more than five times the total
savings of a member;
(iv) All amounts loaned are to be repaid in monthly installments over a
period of not more than 36 months;
(v) The interest rate shall be 5% for Normal loan and 10% for Special loan;
(vi) Application for loan has to be endorsed by two other members who will
act as guarantors and must be confirmed permanent staff of ECOWAS;
(vii) In the event of death, retirement, termination of appointment with
ECOWAS or resignation, any outstanding loan shall be recovered from
the member’s terminal benefits / Loan guarantors;
(viii) Guide lines on loan approval/processing for each of the two types of loans shall be determined from time to time by the AGM on recommendation of the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE 8(a): INVESTMENT OF FUNDS
The Funds of the Union shall be invested after making adequate provisions for loans, bearing in mind the criteria of profitability, accessibility, liquidity and security of such funds.
ARTICLE 8(b): AREAS OF INVESTMENTS
The investment referred to in (7a) above shall be in the following areas:
· Fixed deposit in banks where the Union has its account
· Any other area decided by the AGM
ARTICLE 9: DIVIDENDS TO MEMBERS
(a) Members may receive dividends on their savings at the end of the financial year if so decided at the Annual General meeting. The amount to be paid to each member shall take into account his//her overall savings in the Union as of 31stDecember of the year.
(b) If a member retires from the service of the Community and wishes to retain his/her investment in the Union, he/she shall be allowed and shall earn dividend on the investment.
(c) However, such retired member shall not be eligible for loan facilities from the Union.
ARTICLE 10: RESERVE FUND
(a) The Union shall maintain a Reserve Fund which shall protect the Union
in case of loss;
(b) The Reserve Fund shall be credited with at least 1% of the net surplus
at the end of each financial year. This Fund shall not exceed the equivalent of 10% of the outstanding loans.
ARTICLE 11: APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP
(a) Application for membership shall be in writing on a prescribed form;
(b) The application shall include the name(s) of all his Next-of-kin.
ARTICLE 12: WITHDRAWAL FROM MEMBERSHIP
(a) A member may withdraw from the Union after giving 31 days notice in
(b) Such withdrawal cannot be effective until the member has liquidated all
(c) On withdrawal, a member shall be entitled to his savings less any
ARTICLE 13: EXPULSION FROM THE UNION
(a) A member may be expelled from the Union by a 2/3 majority vote at the
Annual General Meeting;
(b) Reasons for expulsion shall be:
(i) arrears in contribution over a period of twelve consecutive months;
(ii) behavior that is not in the interest of the Union.
ARTICLE 14: EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
(a) The conduct of the affairs of the Union shall be under the control and
management of the Executive Committee;
(b) It shall include the following officials, President, Vice President,
Secretary, Treasurer, Auditor, Accountant, and such other officers as the Union may require.
(c) The members of the Executive Committee shall be elected by the Annual
General Meeting and they shall hold office for a period of two (2) years
renewable only once.
(d) The functions of the Executive Committee members are voluntary / non remunerated functions. However, due to the extra workload imposed on members of the Executive in addition to their normal work schedule, the AGM allocates a fix amount per annum for each member as incentive/sitting allowance.
(e) The Executive Committee must meet statutorily, once every quarter. However, it may hold other meetings when necessary, for the effective operations of the mutual fund.
ARTICLE 15: FUNCTIONS OF THE EXECUTIVES
The President shall preside at all General Meetings and meetings of the
Executive Committee. He is the approving officer of all transactions on the Mutual’s funds.
The Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President when the latter is absent.
The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all General Meetings and all meetings of the Executive Committee, and shall perform such other duties as are regularly performed by a Secretary.
(a) The Treasurer shall keep a full and complete record of all financial
transactions and monies of the Union;
(b) He shall prepare a monthly financial statement for examination by the
(c) He shall prepare a balance sheet and an income and expenditure account
at the end of each financial year;
(d) He shall perform such other duties as are regularly performed by a
(a) The Accountant shall keep all the accounting books of the Union;
(b) The Accountant in collaboration with the Treasurer shall prepare the
monthly financial statement and the balance sheet at the end of the
(f) He shall perform such other duties as are regularly performed by an
The duties of the Internal Auditor shall be the following:
(i) To ensure that both the Treasurer and Accountant keep relevant
(ii) To ensure that a monthly financial statement is prepared jointly by the
Treasurer and the Accountant;
(iii) To ensure that the Treasurer and the Accountant jointly prepare a balance
sheet and an income and expenditure account at the end of the financial
(iv) Check the cash on hand, bank accounts and investments at least once
every three months;
(v) To ensure that a complete audit of books of accounts is made at least
once a year;
(vi) Check each member’s account against his personal ledger at least
once a year;
(vii) Meet monthly with the Treasurer and Accountant to check and sign the
monthly financial statement;
(viii) Draw the attention of the Executive Committee to any lapses observed.
ARTICLE 16: DUTIES OF THE EXCUTIVE COMMITTEE
(a) The Executive Committee is the Executive organ of the Union. Subject to
the authority of the General Meeting and these bye-laws, the Executive Committee shall perform or authorize all actions necessary to achieve the aims of the Union;
(b) It shall in particular:
(i) Represent the Union in its dealings and transactions;
(ii) Decide on the bond which may be required of employees or officers
handling the funds and property of the Union;
(iii) Open Bank Accounts in the name of the Union and decide on the
investments of funds;
(iv) Decide on the person(s) empowered to receive or pay out money on
behalf of the Union;
(v) Decide on the amount of cash which may be held on hand by the
person(s) handling the cash;
(vi) Ensure that true and accurate records of all transactions of the Union
(viii) Make rules and policies concerning the processing of all loans
(ix) Take necessary action against delinquent borrowers;
(x) Impose fines on delinquent borrowers, if necessary;
(xi) Recommend to the Annual General Meeting the interest rate on savings
and the rebate rate for interest paid on loans;
(xii) The Executive Committee shall have the power to delegate to an officer
or employee of the Union such of its own powers as it may deem
ARTICLE 17: EXTERNAL AUDITOR
(a) External Auditors shall be appointed by the Annual General Meeting from amongst interested Auditors who have submitted application for appointment;
(b) They shall audit the accounts of the Union at the end of the financial year and present the audited accounts to the Annual General Meeting;
(c) The term of office of the External Auditors shall be twelve (12) calendar months, renewable upon satisfactory performance for a period not more than 3 years.
ARTICLE 18: ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF OF THE UNION
(a) The Executive Committee is assisted by qualified accountants and other administrative staff for the day to day running of the operations of the Mutual. The Office is headed by the Senior Accounting Assistant and may comprise assisting accountants, administrative staff as the AGM may adopt. These are the staff of the Union, paid from the resources of the Union.
(b) They shall perform the following functions:
i) Prepare, keep and regularly update all books of accounts of the Mutual
ii) Preparation of draft end of the year final accounts for the mutual
iii) Preparation of loan assessment forms to be submitted to the Executive Committee for approval
iv) Preparation and distribution of periodic statement of accounts for members
v) preparation of quarterly financial report to be submitted to the executive committee at their quarterly meeting
vi) Any other assignment given to them by the Executive Committee
ARTICLE 19: GENERAL MEETINGS
The supreme authority of the Union shall be vested in the members who exercise their powers through voting at Annual and Special General Meetings.
ARTICLE 20: ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
(a) The Annual General Meeting shall be held every year within three (3) months
after the close of the calendar year;
(b) The members shall be informed of the Annual General Meeting at least
one week in advance.
ARTICLE 21: BUSINESS AT ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The Annual General Meeting shall:
(a) Confirm the minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting and any
intervening Special General Meeting;
(b) Receive the Annual Report of the Union, the statement of accounts
and the External auditor’s report;
(c) Decide on the recommendation of the Executive with regards to proposed dividend and transfer to Reserved Fund;
(d) Consider appeals against the expulsion of members;
(e) Elect members of the Executive Committee and authorize the Executive Committee to appoint External Auditors;
(f) Authorize the Executive Committee to fix salaries, allowances and honoraria for employees of the Union;
(g) Amend the bye-laws in accordance with paragraph 34 of these bye-laws;
(h) Conduct any other business.
ARTICLE 22: SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING
(a) An extra-ordinary General Meeting shall be held when requested by:
(i) a 2/3 majority vote of the Executive Committee, or
(ii) a written request from at least one-fourth of the members;
(b) The Extra-ordinary General Meeting shall be announced to members at least one
week in advance.
ARTICLE 23: BUSINESS AT SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING
(a) The business of an extra-ordinary General Meeting shall be made known to
members in the announcement for the meeting;
(b) The extra-ordinary General Meeting shall consider only the announced business.
ARTICLE 24: VOTING AT GENERAL MEETING
(a) Each member shall have one vote;
(b) Voting may be by ballot;
(c) A member must be present to vote and be voted for.
(d) A retiree member can vote but cannot be voted for
ARTICLE 25: QUORUM AT GENERAL MEETINGS
(a) The quorum at Annual and Special General Meeting shall be one third 1/3
of the members of the Union;
(b) In case a quorum has not been reached, a ľ majority of the members present may form an umbrella quorum for the meeting to proceed.
ARTICLE 26: AMENDMENT OF RULES AND REGULATIONS
(a) These bye-laws may be amended by a two third 2/3 majority vote of
Members present at a General Meeting;
(b) No amendment of the bye-laws can be made unless the proposed
amendment was specified in the notice calling members to the meeting.
ARTICLE 27: AFFILIATION
The Union shall have the power to affiliate with any Regional or National Association established with the objective of facilitating the operations of savings and credit societies in accordance with co-operative principles.
ARTICLE 28: DISPUTES
All disputes within the Union which cannot be settled by the Executive Committee or a General Meeting shall be referred to arbitration of the Community Court of Justice and the applicable law shall be the Rules of Procedure and other relevant texts relating to Arbitration.
ARTICLE 29: LIQUIDATION
The Union shall be liquidated only by a unanimous vote at Annual General Meeting on grounds of:
· When the Union cannot settle its liabilities;
· When ECOWAS Commission is liquidated;
· Other reasons as may be unanimously approved by the Annual General Meeting.
ARTICLE 30: ENTRY INTO FORCE
These bye-laws enter into force upon their adoption by the General Assembly.
Done at this 5th day of April 2013.
The General Assembly.