By Our Reporter
Invest & Grow Savings and Credit Co-operative Society Limited (IG) Sacco has embarked on an ambitious plan to recruit more youth, women and disabled persons to become members.
In order to achieve this, the Sacco has launched new financial products that will appeal especially to the youthful teachers who have been recently employed by Teachers Service Commission (TSC), namely Karibu and Vijana loans.
“We have introduced these new products to enable members who still have few shares access BOSA loans. Part of the loan is normally retained to boost members’ shares,” said Kennedy Keya, IG Sacco Chairman. He made these remarks during a Special Delegates Meeting, held in Kakamega town.
The new financial products are being introduced at a time when IG has completed the rebranding process and changed its name from Kakamega Teachers Sacco Society Limited.
“We have changed the bylaws since the rebranding process begun so that we conform to changes in the business. We now have new products and the change is already paying dividends,” said Keya.
The Vijana loan is expected to be available to members next year and will benefit youth aged up to 35 years old, the cash repayable in 10 months.
IG Sacco has also reviewed its interest rates downwards. For instance, members can borrow FOSA and FOSA plus loans at 1.6 per cent on reducing balance instead of 1.7 per cent. Those seeking for Fanikisha or Automobile loans will pay an interest of 1.4 per cent on reducing balance from 1.5 per cent. “The Board is comfortable with current borrowing trends where members take long term loans for long term projects as opposed to loans for consumption which are usually short term,” said Keya.
During the Special Delegates Meeting, IG members heard that forgery of guarantor signatures was still a major problem despite several safeguards already put in place. The Society is now using SMS alerts; forwarded to guarantors each time a loan application, where they are listed, is being processed. Keya warned that the board is thinking of instituting legal action against those found culpable in the forgery cases.
“We have loan applicants who have the tendency of bribing loan officers. We are appealing to members to assist us identify these culprits so that corrective measures are taken,” said Keya.
IG has set its income budget for 2016/17 at Sh 1.1 billion against an expenditure of Sh 382 million. Capital expenditure will be Sh 94 million and investment capital at Sh 199 million.
Keya further announced IG Sacco was now fully registered with Credit Reference Bureaus and thus will share all the good and bad information of their members with other financial institutions.
“Our membership will increase because of the ongoing recruitment of teachers by the Teachers Service Commission. We have already opened the common bond and have increased membership to 17,000. We now have new members from among employees of TSC secretariat, Office of the President, Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), civil servants and employees of County Governments, teachers from private institutions as well as Jua Kali artisans and motor bike operators,” said Vuhya.
He said IG continues to register fast growth both in membership and asset size and is now seeking for internal funds as well as other sources outside commercial banks, in order to lend cheaply to members.
“We have rolled out empowerment and the Akiba loan scheme, to benefit members whose monthly salary is less than Sh 15,000 and we urge members to patronize these products,” said Obed Muyobo, IG Supervisory Committee Chairman.
Available figures indicate that IG Sacco had a surplus of Sh 499, 103,127 as at July 2016. This is compared Sh 354, 911,586 over the same period last year.
Established in 1977 and registered as a co-operative society with only 115, IG Sacco now attracts membership from virtually all sectors of the economy. It is a Deposit-Taking Sacco licensed by SASRA.
IG also attracts membership from business people, corporate and investment groups as well as churches among others. It has plans to open up more branches and satellite offices in other Counties in order to grow its membership.
According Keya, IG Sacco Chairman, the Society targets to recruit persons in learning institutions, both TSC and non-TSC employees as well as applicants from the neighbouring counties.
“We are further targeting employees of National and County Governments, self-employed persons and those engaged by other corporate bodies. I believe many will take advantage of this golden opportunity to join us,” said Keya. He believes that opening up to all will enable IG Sacco membership to grow.