An improvement in the state of infrastructure and security in Marsabit County has created an enabling environment for investments to grow.
The upgrading of Marsabit town into a municipality has further driven the incentive for commerce to thrive with the latest entry being Trans Nation (TN) Sacco, which has opened a branch in the town.
Speaking during the launch on Friday, the TN Sacco chairman Bedford Mutegi said that there existed great potential for trade and industry growth in the county.
Mr Mutegi hinted that another branch would soon be opened up in Moyale town to enable the local pastoralist communities and traders to access financial credit for enhanced economic growth.
The Sacco chairman added that products by the firm have been tailored to suit the needs of local residents including compliance to the Islamic faith and institutions like churches with a lot of life transformation expected.
Marsabit Central Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Patrick Muriira said the tarmacking of the Isiolo-Moyale highway had opened up the hitherto locked up region for investment.
Mr Muriira pointed out that movement of goods and people has greatly improved leading to booming business in local towns and trading centres across the county.
The Deputy County Commissioner added that the eased transportation of livestock to outside markets like Nairobi had helped in streamlining the market chain because brokers have been edged out.
He said Marsabit County is strategically positioned for investment because it borders Ethiopia where cross border trade abounds with very high returns for the locals.
Mr Muriira said security has improved while electricity connectivity had reached all locations in the county making it ideal for locals to engage in income generating activities like welding whose proceeds they needed to save.
“Lighting rural homes is a priority of the government for various reasons that include enabling wananchi in rural areas to possess mobile phones and do mobile banking besides enriching in security,” the DCC said.
The government was in the process of upgrading the 10-kilometers road network in Marsabit town to bitumen standard in order to compliment the municipality status of the town.
Mr Muriira encouraged public servants and especially new entrants to join and save with SACCOs to help them access credit to fund their personal ventures.
This, he said, provides government workers with an additional source of income, which deters those with itchy fingers from dipping them into government coffers.
He called on Kenyans to shun corruption saying the vice needed to be fought from all fronts.
The DCC regretted that many residents had fallen prey to unscrupulous microfinance institutions which tricked them into taking loans that had hidden charges landing them in economic distress.
He asked the Trans Nation Sacco to help in instilling discipline in the sector adding that residents of Marsabit who have been employed by the Sacco should be considered to work in branches outside the county as a way of enhancing national values.
TN Sacco chief executive officer Luncham Mugambi said that the organization which has 17 branches that are spread in Marsabit, Kitui, Samburu, Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties was collaborating with the government in fighting cybercrime.
Mr Mugambi said the objective of the Sacco was to better the socio-economic wellbeing of its members adding that so far it had recruited over 800 members in Marsabit county whom he promised friendly and efficient financial services.
The Sacco, which has agents spread across the country including places like Loitokitok, does not allow relatives of the board of directors (BOD) to be employed in the organization to ensure that there was good management practices.
The Sacco also intends to tap the potential in the cooperative movement in the county whose number has grown from 29 cooperative societies at the onset of devolution to 106.
According to the County Director of Cooperatives Hussein Jillo, the movement which cuts across all sectors including agriculture, fisheries, livestock, trade and transport, has a membership of 9,170 strong.
The forum also seized the opportunity to press for strict adherence to the containment measures against the coronavirus pandemic that has been put in place by the government and the ministry of health.
Wananchi were called upon to be more responsible by correctly wearing facemasks when in public places and making an effort to stay at home.
By Sebastian Miriti