The National Chamber of Commerce is in discussion with Kenya Bankers Association to come up with a platform for providing cheap loans to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The President elect of the Chamber, Richard Ngatia has said some financial institutions have expressed interest to provide cheap credit facilities to their members.
Speaking when he toured Murang’a on Thursday, Ngatia said there are some members who are unable to afford loans at the current interest rates thus the need to seek for help of accessing cheap loans.
Ngatia said the chamber has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the financial institution to provide Sh. 150 billion to give credit facilities to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
After signing the MoU with commercial banks, the President elect said their members will be required to provide fewer documents to access the loans.
“We will bring all banks on board and negotiate for cheap loans to our members. Currently most businesses are not doing well due to unfavorable business policies,” he added.
Ngatia admitted that increased taxation on small scale enterprises is pushing many traders out of the business.
He said they are in consultations with the national and county governments to reduce taxes observing that some of rates are double taxation.
“In Nairobi, we have agreed to reduce 22 licenses to four for the business people. Some of licenses are just a repetition and we want our members to be subjected to one operating license,” noted Ngatia.
Other directors of the chamber, who accompanied the Chamber’s President-elect, decried dwindling membership at counties.
They argued that some former officials at county levels did not fully involve the county governments so as to support functions of the chamber.
“We have rolled out a programme to recruit more members especially at county levels and every sub county will be assigned a Director to spearhead the recruitment drive,” added Ngatia.
He continued, “the chamber will come up with a committee comprised of three units, one on liaison, research and legal so as to intensify operations of the chamber.”
The present directors assured members to push for policies and laws which will see revival of manufacturing sector claiming the sector is currently affected by increased importation of goods which can be made locally.
Meanwhile, Ngatia downplayed election crises which were witnessed in some counties, saying those who were elected should move forward and serve their members.
In Murang’a former officials of the chambers declined to relinquish their office forcing the new officials to acquire new offices.
The Chamber Murang’a Chapter Chairman, Festus Kamau said they opted to get new office to avoid conflict with individuals who lost in the elections.
“With the new office we will move forward and avoid continuous conflicts with those who don’t admit they lost in the elections,” he added.
By Bernard Munyao