Monday, October 21, 2013

Sacco savings now hit a record Sh490 billion

MWI Sacco bus services in Nairobi. Saccos countrywide have accumulated a record Sh490 billion as savings, according to Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Principal Secretary Wilson Songa. PHOTO/FILE

MWI Sacco bus services in Nairobi. Saccos countrywide have accumulated a record Sh490 billion as savings, according to Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Principal Secretary Wilson Songa. PHOTO/FILE 

By GEORGE MUNENE

Saccos countrywide have accumulated a record Sh490 billion as savings, says Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Principal Secretary Wilson Songa.

The money represents 33 per cent of national savings.

The saccos sub-sector’s contribution towards achieving vision 2030 remains significant, he said, adding, “this a sub-sector that has a membership of 13 million. It plays a key role in creating vibrancy and competitiveness in the financial sector”.

He was speaking at the weekend during the annual general meeting of the Kenya Teachers Saccos Association at Roswarm Hotel in Kirinyaga county.

The PS said the government was committed to protecting saccos, noting that they were crucial to economic development.

“Without saccos we can’t succeed in anything. The cooperative movement’s continuous  growth is unstoppable,” he said.

Dr Songa said Kenyan saccos are ranked number one in Africa and number seven globally in terms of growth.

“This is a no mean achievement. The government will continue backing the financial sub-sector that is creating employment and empowering our people financially,” he said.

He challenged saccos to ensure they have sound corporate governance and assist members.

“Consider merging some societies to enhance economies of scale,” he said, adding: You must improve your leadership skills and avoid operating small units of societies.

He advised the sacco managements to operate within the Constitution for them not to lose track.

“Come up with mechanism to operate at the county and national level, without losing momentum,” he said.

The PS said a taskforce to look into the legal framework of saccos had been set up.

The team will come up with a draft document which will be discussed by stakeholders.

The taskforce will take six months to complete its work. He said the government wants saccos to conform to the requirements of the Constitution for better performance.

He asked saccos to be as efficient as possible to meet the aspirations of members.

Kenya Teachers Sacco Association chairman Simon Mukunu said the sub-sector occupied a strategic position in the social economic development of the country and is a major player in the realisation of Vision 2030 blueprint.

He said saccos were ready to fulfill their mandate as a vehicle to development and poverty eradication.

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