Nairobi’s Cooperative movement best in Africa, assets hit KSh618 billion

Nairobi City County Director of Co-operatives Dolphine Aremo in a past event.

The success of the Cooperative movement in Nairobi City County is a key player in the economic situation of the entire country with total assets base of KSh618 billion.

The county has a well-established department called the Business and Hustler Opportunities sector endowed with technocrats overseeing capacity building of the sector and providing round the clock monitoring to ensure the sector continues to register achievements.

Nairobi City County Director of Co-operatives Dolphine Aremo stated that the city plays host to 4978 Saccos which includes leading in the country.

The total membership patron sing the city Saccos stands at over 2.6 million commanding a share capital of KSh40.7 billion.

In her speech dubbed “Overview of the cooperative movement in Nairobi City County, emerging trends and roles of delegates” during the Afya Sacco Delegates Education Day held at the College of Insurance in Nairobi, the director highlighted the impact of the movement that was proving to be the sole remedy for economic development for members.

She said that members’ deposits across the Saccos is at KSh431 billion while loans taken for development and provident purposes has hit KSh439 billion.

The big Five Saccos in Kenya have their headquarters in the city with Mwalimu National Sacco commanding the lead. It has 131, 250 members countrywide with deposits of KSh49,334,656. It boosts of an asset base of KSh64, 434,719,000.

The Cooperatives director advised the Saccos to be abreast of the emerging trends in the cooperative movement which includes the new cooperative societies bill, the regulation of the NWDT-Saccos, the Sacco Central including the new circular on maximum borrowing power for Saccos.


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“The Management Boards of the various Saccos in Nairobi must be wary of the increasing interest rates in the market and be able to play along tactfully in the best interest of their members, they must be careful about the popularity of mobile lending apps,” she advised.

According to Aremo, the directorate of Business and Hustler Opportunities in the city which deals with cooperatives was able to save the Afya Sacco Ltd and have the County government of Nairobi remit all the members deductions to the society.

The Afya Sacco suffers heavily from non- remittance of members deductions from Counties which has hit a record 800 million shillings and greatly affecting financial services to the members.

Cooperatives Commissioner David Obonyo acknowledges the good work of Saccos in the city, he notes that despite the economic challenges the world continues to face with the high inflation rates, the various managements of the Saccos were still able to exercise resilience in the year 2023 and record growth of 10 per cent in their Saccos.

He noted that the Sacco business had become very competitive hence there was need to consider best services and products that are solely tailored made to suit customer’s needs.

“It’s very important that Saccos must strive to address the unique aspirations of their members in the roll out of products and services to be able to stay above the rest. The Saccos must also try to explore ways of reducing operation costs since high dividends and rebates cannot happen with high cost of operations,” the Commissioner advised.

He also underscored the importance and need for Saccos to leverage on latest technology in their daily operations to ease doing business and enhance efficiency while also employing keen focus on the Human Resource policy.

“My advice to the management Boards of the Saccos is that they should not fear to challenge senior management team on having set targets. Provide the staff with a conducive working environment to make them efficient while reducing the cost of production. Ensure they are well paid and give them specific targets so that if they don’t deliver, you can excuse them,” he advised.

Obonyo also noted that member education must always be given the best emphasis especially focus on recruitment of young cooperators in the movement for posterity.

“Saccos need to become more attractive to the youths who are just entering the job market, these cadre of persons need to be convinced about competitive advantage that Saccos have over other banks.”

By Erick Nyayiera

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