Cabinet Secretary for Cooperatives and Micro and Small Enterprise Simon Kiprono Chelugui has encouraged Small and Micro Enterprises to join SACCOS in order to save and benefit from lower loan interest-rates to help them grow their businesses.
He urged SACCO leaders to protect and safeguard their members’ finances to build trust between them for the growth of both parties.
Speaking during the Imarika SACCO’s 37th Annual Delegates meeting at Pride Inn Flamingo Beach Resort, Shanzu, Chelugui challenged the SACCO to deepen their services and spread across the six counties of the Coast Region to encourage registration of more members.
He said that from the report presented to him, he had noted that Imarika faced some challenges during and after the Covid-19 Pandemic period but they are now projecting impressive records and that they have grown by 13 percent in deposits, membership and loans to their members.
“There are so many small scale businesses like the boda boda guys, small scale farmers and Beach Management Units (BMU) and working together with well-established SACCOs like Imarika can improve their financial management and growth of their businesses,” Chelugui said.
“We are going to work together with the Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime and the Coastal County Governments to register the BMUs as cooperatives so that we can support and establish them under the Cooperative Movement,” he added.
According to the CS, the Cooperative establishment of the BMUs would be beneficial to the fishermen because they could be professionally trained, apply for loans to increase their capital, participate in fish harvesting and enhance fish processing and market.
The Cooperative movement is to organize and aggregate the small businesses across the country.
On matters of Hustler Fund, Chelugui said that it is a revolutionary initiative by the government and it has reached out to over 19 million citizens.
He added that they have funded over Sh21 billion to the public and received back over Sh12 billion courtesy of empowered technology in the period of three months since it was launched.
Chelugui said that the government is still sensitizing the public to make good use of the Hustler Fund and appealed to them to try to pay back faster in order to increase their loan limit.He went on to emphasize that the government’s role is to make sure that members of the SACCOs are protected from fund embezzlement and make sure that members participate fully in activities of their respective Cooperative SACCOs.
The County Executive Council Member, Blue Economy, Livestock and Co-operatives Development, Lamu County, Faiz Fankupi Abushiri said that the initiative to register the BMUs into Cooperatives would be a major boost to the growth of the small scale fishing and would improve the livelihood of the coastal counties directly and indirectly.
The Chairman Imarika SACCO Redson Ndoro applauded the great support from the Government and the teamwork and unity of the SACCO members because they have worked against many challenges to make sure that they enhance their services and achieve accomplishments that benefit their members.
“With the measures we are putting in work this year, our projections of achievements will be twice the previous year’s and we are looking forward to seeing SACCOs gaining ground play like other financial players in the country,” Ndoro said.
By Fatuma Said