By Ken Langat.
Kenya Highland Sacco Ltd has completed the purchase of the building housing Standard Chartered Bank in Kericho town at a cost of Sh105 million and unveiled a multi-million shilling upgrade plan.
The Standard Chartered Bank Building is sandwiched between KCB Bank and Barclays Bank Kenya along the busy Kericho-Kisumu highway.
During this year’s Annual Delegates Meeting (ADM), the Sacco Chairman, Richard Mutai disclosed that the payment was at the final stages. Mr Mutai told the delegates meeting held at Nganai Hotel at Kapsoit Trading Centre that they would put up an ultra- modern commercial building at the site.
The amount which according to Mutai included legal and stamp duty fee was agreed to be completed by March this year with the owner.
“We are at the final stages of closing the first phase of paying the owner the remaining dues as per the agreement by March this year then we strategize on the second phase involving planning on how and when to put up the modern building,” he told the jubilant delegates.
He disclosed that members would take the lion’s share of 75 per cent of the project through shareholding and the remaining 25 per cent will go for the Sacco.
Announcing the Sacco financial statement ending December 31, 2016, Mr Mutai said members accepted to inject 30 per cent of their shares amounting to Sh90 million towards the flagship projects that would boost the image of the savings and credit society.
The chairman also announced the Sacco’s contribution of Sh29,000,000 towards the Kericho plot out of the retained earning reserves of Sh30,916,591.
The Sacco which posted double digits in last year’s financial strength and membership growth also announced completion of payment of Kabianga Branch premise building and the plot to the tune of Sh5 million. The branch is located at Kabianga Market near Kabianga University in the county.
‘’We are proud to inform you that Kabianga branch is now our own asset after clearing payments and now planning on how to embark on the second phase of putting a modern building at the trading centre,” he announced.
In the meeting graced by the Sacco’s Board members and Chief Executive Officer, Alice Kosgei and other guests, Mutai announced that the assets stands at Sh2,158,713,683.89 last year up from Sh1,696,256,573.48 in 2015, an increase of 27.26 percent.
“I wish to inform you that the acquired properties plots in Kericho town and Kabianga market was bought without any external loans but through our own loans and contributions through shares,” he said amid cheers.
Mutai underscored the growth in membership and deposits both in Front Office Service Account (Fosa) and Back Office Service Account (Bosa) operations including other investments in shares as the key indicators of the growth of the Sacco.
He said during the year under review membership rose to 70,116 up from 61,060 of the previous year, equivalent to 14.83 per cent while members’ Front Office Service Account (Fosa) shot to Sh756,620,481.87 from Sh470,124,397.55 of previous year, an equivalent to 60.94 per cent.
Also members’ Back Office Deposits (Bosa) show significant growth of 11.03 per cent which is equivalent to Sh766,336,490.29 from Sh690, 202,760.47 of 2015.
Building share shot up to Sh96,123,288,73 last year from Sh62,351,615.00 in 2015, an equivalent of 54.16 per cent.
Expenses during the year, however, reduced to Sh282,015,223.78 from Sh295,113,582.12, a decline of 4.44 per cent.
The chairman attributed the growth of Kenya Highland Sacco to acquisition of new assets and confidence members have had on the management and officials.
“The new buildings and the confidence the members have had in the Sacco management both national and at the county level had attracted more members,” he explained.
Mrs Kosgei disclosed that the Sacco now owns three assets, the Kapsoit Head Office, Kabianga Branch and the new Kericho plot while leasing business premises at the Sinendet building in the town and Litein Town Centre all in Kericho County.
She revealed the Sacco is renting the Kericho branch office at a cost of Sh170,000 per month, equivalent to Sh2,040,000 per year.
Once the new projects are completed, the CEO said they would help reduce the expenses further and increase income to the members.
During the ADM, the management announced the dividend payment of Sh14.2 per cent on share capital, 10 per cent on building shares while Bosa attracted 14.2 per cent dividends emerging top nationally.
Co-operative Bank director, Vincent Marangu praised the society for the prudent management that has seen it make significant strides in growth.
“Unlike other societies riddled with debts and leadership wrangles, your Sacco is exemplary both in terms of management and leadership that has seen you expand in membership and financially,” he said. Marangu who was the chief guest assured the Sacco that the bank would not take away her members since they have one account in the bank.
“We will only provide our services through your Sacco which in turn would provide revenue to your society as a show of a mutually-beneficial relationship,” he said.