Gains in Sacco subsector must be protected

BySacco Review

Sep 8, 2020
SASRA CEO John Mwaka. Photo/File
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DT-Saccos have continued to show great depth of resilience and stability. Last year, the financial institutions recorded a double-digit growth rate according to latest Regulator’s data. The Saccos’ total assets increased by 12.41 per cent to cross the half-trillion mark and reach Sh 556.71 billion, while the total deposits increased by 11.27 per cent to reach Sh 380.44 billion. This is despite cut-throat competition and technology disruptions.

The sub-sector is now a significant driver of the country’s economy. The gains and achievements in the DT-Saccos must be protected and enhanced by all.

The President initiated changes in the co-operative movement by directing the establishment of SACCO Societies Fraud Investigations Unit (SSFIU), under Saccos Societies Regulatory Authority. The unit must ensure the corruption war in the Saccos is won. Establishment of a central liquidity facility for Saccos should also be fastened as this will enhance their capacity and efficiency. The implementation of the National Co-operative Policy and the draft Sacco Societies (Non-Deposit taking Business) Regulations, will also ensure that Kenya’s Co-operative sector maintains its top place in Africa and globally.

 However, the exponential increase of the non-remitted deductions due to Saccos should be urgently addressed. Sasra reports that the no-remitted deductions have soared to reach Sh 3.86 billion for the period ended September 2019, from Sh 2.81 billion for the period ended September 2018. The Authority says over 74 per cent of the total non-remitted deductions in 2019 was owed by Public Universities and Tertiary Colleges. Yet, these employer-institutions serve five key DT-Saccos with colossal membership. If the trend continues, the operation of many Saccos will not be sustainable, and the outcome will be a collapse, a painful thing for many members.

The concerned entities must heed to the directive by the Executive Office of the President dated 11th November 2019, requiring governmental institutions and agencies to prioritize the budgeting for, and settlement of, non-remitted SACCO deductions, as Sasra states. 

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