By Malachi Motano
After being in the cooperative movement for now 19 years, serving in various managerial capacities, George Yongo Ngala finally been appointed the Imarika Sacco Chief executive officer
Imarika is a progressive Sacco that posts good performance and Ngala says as the CEO, he is he prepared to uphold the trend and raise the bar to greater heights.
Formerly deputy Sacco CEO Ngala intends to not only tomake Imarika Sacco the most agile financial institution but also to meet the expectation of members by consistently developing visionary products to change their lives.
He says in five years, the Sacco would have reached out for more members within and outside the coast region through the utilization of the innovative digitally enabled solutions and outreach.
He says his immediate focus is to ensure the implementation of the remaining targets of the Sacco’s 2018-2022 strategic plan started by his predecessor Mr. Daniel Masha and review it to develop fresh targets.
“I would also like to put more emphasis on proper structures that will empower our systems that improve decision making at various levels of the Sacco to improve on service delivery.,” said Ngala.
He added that they will keenly focus on performance management so as to try and create a performance driven culture that will hopefully transform Imarika Sacco into a more professional organisation.
And finally, they will also focus on an innovative digital transformation that will be supported by research.
He promised the members and clients toexpect a more responsive and professionally run organisation that will seek to provide personalised services to meet their need.
The clients should also expect better and newer products and services and information empowerment since knowledgeable members are better placed to empower themselves economically and socially.
He says 19 year experience in the industry has been fulfilling and he has witnessed tremendous growth in membership.
“When I joined the Sacco had less than 5000 members but now, we are talking of over 10,000. I have seen how the society has touched its members by enabling them to acquire assets,” he said.
Ngala added that members have educated children and also pursued further studies themselves, set up businesses and even take care of hospital bills using money from the Sacco.
He added that through the collaborative efforts with other societies and stakeholders they have seen the Sacco movement grow from strength to strength.
Even though he is taking over a Sacco that has progressively posted good performance, he is not worried of upholding the good standards.
“The good thing is that I have been part and parcel of the team that has helped shape the performance of the Sacco having worked for such a long time in different capacities,” he said.
He said although the business environment keeps on changing like what happened during the current pandemi), he will try to be more alert and flexible in making decisions so as to remain the Imarika clout.
He also promised to ensure that all stakeholders are empowered to undertake their roles competentlyand also develop agile structure that will allow flexibility in decision making at all levels.
To him, building a strong coherent team will also be also key in achieving the desired success.
Reviewing troubled 2020 financial year, he admitted that Covid-19clearly brought unprecedented challenges all over the world.
“We have seen lives being shattered, economies being battered, so many livelihoods being negatively affected and a deep sense of tremendous stress across the globe,” said the CEO.
Imarika Sacco, he added has also not been spared but they we used a common bond with members and diversified membership spanning across many sectors.
According to the new CEO, the diversification ensured that the Sacco survived challenges that hit fragile sectors like hospitality, private institutions and individual.
They depended on many other sectors which remained relatively stable and enabled the society to continue thriving even under the unique circumstances
“With Kenya’s Sacco sector currently ranked number one in Africa and number seven in the rest of the globe and by looking at the countries ahead of us, it is clear that well managed cooperatives can play a significant role in building economies,” he added.
He said the government has done so well in coming up with supporting laws and regulations for the movement.
He however said they need to be reviewed from time to time due to the changing however dynamics of the operating environment.
“The success of cooperatives depends largely on the governance structure. Regulations on these should be reviewed oftenly to be in line with the changing times,” he said.
He says taxation laws have also been punitive given the unique model of Saccos and should also be improved.