Nakuru County Assembly has passed a Bill to ensure the devolved unit establishes a revolving fund for cooperative societies.
The Cooperative Revolving Development Fund Bill will now be forwarded to Governor Lee Kinyanjui for assent.
If Governor Kinyanjui signs it into law, the county will set aside money for the Revolving Development fund in its 2020 / 2021 financial estimates.
LACK OF FUNDS
Nakuru has several cooperative societies and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), most of which have folded due to lack of funds.
“The interest rates in most of the banks is very high, we hope to get affordable loans from this Revolving Development fund,” said an official of an SME.
This is the first Bill to be sponsored by a nominated Ward Rep in the assembly. The Bill sponsored by Ms Elizabeth Gichuki seeks to provide low interest loans to cooperatives.
“The winners are micro, small and medium enterprises, cooperative societies in the 55 wards that are struggling to raise funds to lend their members as loans,” said Ms Gichuki.
Speaker Joel Kairu Maina said the Bill will change the thriving cooperative landscape in Nakuru.
“The Bill will create jobs, boost value addition enterprises and spur economic development in the county,” said Mr Kairu.
Ms Gichuki says the fund seeks to provide money for low interest loans to cooperative societies with a view to scaling up their lending activities.
The Bill which was unanimously passed with several amendments also aims at improving entrepreneurship and productivity.
“The fund will revive institutions in areas that can have an immediate impact to household economy,” read a section of the Bill.
Members of the cooperative societies will also be helped to market their products and services in domestic and international markets.
The women groups, youth, community-based organisations and low income earners will also benefit from the fund.
The fund will be managed by a board. Money borrowed by the entity must be approved by the assembly.
The fund managers will be required to conduct civic education to promote awareness and understanding of the operations of the fund among stakeholders.