Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) have been directed to conduct their Annual General Meetings (AGM) before the end of April in compliance with the regulations.
The Commissioner of Cooperatives David Obonyo directed Saccos’ leaders to ensure the annual meetings are held without undue delay for the current office bearers to seek fresh mandates.
Speaking Tuesday in Mombasa during the 7th Annual Sacco Leaders Convention at Sarova White Sands Beach Resort, Obonyo observed that a number of Sacco officials have overstayed in their respective offices due to disruptions caused by Covid-19 pandemic.
“For the last two years, a number of our saccos did not conduct their AGMs. Consequently, it implies some officials have stayed over five years without getting fresh mandates from the members. I want to ask those who have not conducted their AGMs, this time, we are not going to allow any excuses,” he said.
“We must arrange for annual meetings where all the key agendas are deliberated including election of officials, presentation of audited accounts, budgets and other items. You have up to the end of April to conduct the meeting as provided in your legal instruments,”
The Commissioner of Cooperatives told over 900 Kenya Union of Saving and Credit Cooperative Ltd (KUSCCO) leaders attending the convention that the State Department of Cooperatives has created an enabling environment for cooperative business to thrive in the country.
KUSCCO Chairman George Magutu and Managing Director George Ototo were senior cooperative movement leaders attending the three-day convention.
Obonyo singled out the Sacco leadership for demonstrating commendable leadership during the review of the Cooperative Bill, which is awaiting Cabinet approval before it is forwarded to Parliament for enactment.
He revealed that the cooperative sector contributes over 31 per cent of the national savings and contributes to the development of the country’s economy, wealth and job creation.
“I wish to reiterate the commitment of the government in creating a conducive environment for the growth and development of cooperatives in the country by having a legal framework, policies, and guidelines for cooperatives to thrive on. The presence of government officials is a testimony of partnership and commitment to develop the cooperative sector,” Obonyo reiterated.
He further observed that both the national and county governments have vital roles to play in creating legal frameworks and policies that would accelerate the growth of cooperatives around the country.
“I am also encouraged by the good turnout on the ongoing public participation for the levy of Non Withdrawable Deposit Taking Saccos (NWDTS). It’s worthwhile mentioning that the State Department is closely working with DTS to promote the Central Liquidity Facility (CLF) and Shared Services Platform to enable inter borrowing and shared ICT platform among SACCOs,” added Obonyo
He challenged the Saccos to develop innovative business models that would accelerate growth of their businesses, adding that the sector is facing stiff competition from other financial sector players.
“I urge all participants to grab this opportunity to share experiences amongst your peers and learn new ideas to steer growth and development in your respective SACCOs,” added Obonyo.
The Cooperatives Commissioner observed that despite Covid-19 challenges, the majority of the cooperative societies have recorded business stability to an extent of paying members over 10 per cent dividends.
He revealed that there are 14 million Kenyans who are members of cooperative movements adding that the sector has huge potential of enlisting the remaining bulk of the country’s population through responsive and attractive products and services.
“As we attract more of our population to join the cooperative movement, let us ensure the kind of product and services we are developing, they have to be responsive and attractive depending on the social economic environment of where we are operating. Let us not encourage the issue of copy and paste,” he added.
By Galgalo Bocha