Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana is asking beneficiaries of refundable government funds to repay to allow other people to benefit.
While issuing cheques worth Sh. 75 million for the Inuka fund programme to 353 youth, women and Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWDs) groups at Dayate, Galledyetu Sub County, Godhana revealed that many beneficiaries received the revolving refundable financial boost funds from government only to renege on repayment hence denying the next lot of beneficiaries a chance.
He disclosed that records in his possession showed Sh22 million Higher Education Loans Board Fund (HELB), Sh. 56 million Uwezo fund, Sh. 8.6 million Master Card Foundation Fund, Sh. 169 million of Tana teachers Fund and Sh. 5.6 million Youth Fund has not been repaid to date.
The governor warned that the different funds are meant to serve specific purposes of helping beneficiaries after which they should repay to benefit the next person in need.
“This money has been taken and we have used it and failed to return it and it is not good for the other people. This money is not for paying school fees but to improve our livelihoods and repay,” noted the Governor.
On Inuka Fund, Godhana said it was meant to empower medium and small entrepreneurs to expand their businesses and accord an opportunity to individuals and groups with business ideas to actualize their aspirations, thus aiding in wealth creation.
The Governor cited Boda Boda riders and vegetable vendors among other small- scale enterprises, adding that government employees are not eligible as they can access loans from their Saccos and banks since they are on salary.
“The fund objective is to elevate people at the bottom so that they can climb the ladder and enter the second tier. Beneficiaries becoming big commercial entrepreneurs is the goal of this Inuka fund,’’ said the Governor.
Godhana further advised Tana River residents to embrace a saving culture for them to improve their livelihoods.
He said, “The people of Tana River have the characteristic of hands-to-mouth life. This fund is not for consumption. The intention is for people in the lower echelon to save and generate money. Let’s start a saving culture”.
The governor said money allocated for the Inuka fund would be increased from the current Sh. 75 million to Sh. 150 million for more residents to benefit.
The governor launched the fund in May this year and according to him, many people thought he was just playing politics, which was not the case.
He said on such flimsy grounds, some people didn’t apply for funding, adding that others were disqualified because they did not clearly indicate their business plans.
The Governor encouraged residents who were left out in phase one to apply for phase two and ordered the fund board to educate the public
By Sadik Hassan