Taita-Taveta Deputy Governor Christine Kilalo has urged cooperative societies to embrace innovation to widen their markets to net potential members at the grassroot level.
Speaking during the commemoration of the 101 International Cooperatives day themed “Cooperatives for Sustainable Developments”, the deputy governor pledged to offer a prize of Ksh1 million to the cooperative society that will have come up with the best innovation.
Kilalo lauded cooperative societies for supporting residents to achieve their personal development projects and urged county residents to embrace Saccos.
She encouraged Sacco leaders to be aggressive and ensure they get funds to facilitate members’ education so that the cooperatives can run smoothly.
Kilalo further urged the county assembly to fast-track the County Cooperative Draft Bill to help provide trusted market intelligence, practical advice and business tools to regulate and streamline the registration of Saccos in the county.
“The county government is keen on making sure cooperatives in the county are up and running. We’ve taken up the initiative of training residents on the importance of cooperatives,” she added.
County Cooperative Commissioner Erastus Gonzi noted an improved registered membership in cooperatives.
He stated that as of last year, the total registered societies stood at 242 with a total membership of 98,996.
He stated that the county is doing well on matters cooperatives and that as of last year, the total assets of cooperatives stood at Ksh3.3 billion while total loans offered was Ksh2.4 billion.
Total deposits stood at Ksh2.29 billion while the share capital was Ksh241, 370,385.
The commissioner decried the high number of dormant societies which he said stands at 141 and
called on the need for all stakeholders to revitalize dormant cooperatives.
He urged cooperatives to ensure compliance with the law including embracing audit of reports and ensuring that Annual general meetings (AGMs) are done by April every year.
His sentiments were echoed by the County Chief Officer Paul Maneno who urged leaders to uphold integrity in their positions to ensure positive growth of the societies.
Maneno encouraged capacity building of leaders and members’ education so that cooperative activities can be done in an efficient manner in the county.
County Cooperative Development Committee (CCDC) chairperson James Kubo said most of the societies in the county are dormant and plans are underway to ensure all the societies are revived.
He urged the county government to fast-track the passage of the county cooperative bill and set aside funds to facilitate cooperative activities
Qwetu Sacco Chairman Alfred Mlolwa urged residents to join the Sacco in order to realize development and growth.
He stated that the Sacco has opened its common bond to allow membership from all sectors of the economy.
Currently, the Sacco has a membership of over 50,000, asset base worth Ksh3.2 billion and a loan portfolio worth 2.1 billion.
Anderson Mtungu, a youth, urged the youth to attend such fora and learn the importance of joining cooperative societies.
By Michael Oduor
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