Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary (CS), Simon Chelugui, has asked Saccos and Cooperative societies, to recruit more members to help them benefit from private and government services.
Speaking during Yetu Sacco’s Annual General Meeting in Nkubu, Meru County, Wednesday, Mr. Chelugui said Cooperative societies and Saccos, will be a way of life and that the Kenya Kwanza Government, will be using the institutions for delivering its services to the people.
“In accordance with the Kenya Kwanza manifesto, cooperatives movements will be streamlined to make them serve citizens well and they will also be strengthened up to the ward level, because we need to deal with organized groups,” said Mr. Chelugui.
The CS added that the cooperative business model, is an ideal vehicle to ensure success towards financial inclusion for the majority of Kenyan population, who would otherwise not have access to financial services from conventional institutions.
“This is evidenced by the huge membership of people in the cooperative societies that spread across all stratum of the population, including those at the bottom of the pyramid,” said Mr Chelugui.
He added: “Cooperative societies are therefore encouraged to exploit this advantage to recruit more members in order to expand their financial inclusion.”
CS encouraged Saccos in the country to diversify their products, to meet members emerging needs including housing mortgage products, in order to address the housing deficit in the country, saying that it will complement government efforts to facilitate the supply of affordable houses.
“The housing project can be delivered through a partnership with savings and credit, banks, and cooperatives. Indeed, this is a crucial role of the cooperative sector and can take advantage of providing affordable shelter to Kenyans,” he said.
He at the same time encouraged Saccos and Cooperative societies, to partner with Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC), to access affordable long-term housing finance.
“In view of the critical role played by the Cooperative and Small Micro Enterprise, SMEs sector, I want to assure cooperative societies and Saccos of my Ministry’s commitment, to providing a good working environment for the sector to thrive,” said Mr. Chelugui.
He congratulated the management of Yetu Sacco led by Chief Executive Officer, Denis Mwiti Kirimi and Chairman, Mark Gitonga, for recruiting more than 60,000 members and giving dividends of 18 percent and rebates of 13 percent for 2022.
“Despite the challenges of the economic situations in the country, your Sacco managed to record an asset base of Sh5.3bn and deposit and savings of Sh.3.2billion and loan and advances of Sh.3.3 billion, as well as a revenue of Sh.789million,” said Mr. Chelugui.
The CS was accompanied by his Agriculture Counterpart, Mithika Linturi and Cooperatives PS, Patrick Kilemi.
By Dickson Mwiti