By Roy Hezron
A co-operative society baseline survey conducted last year found that many of them have no websites, email addresses and other digital tools.
It was observed that many had no websites or email services, resulting in the low level of digitization in co-operative societies governed by the State Department of Cooperatives (SDC).
Last year, the SDC engaged in a campaign urging co-operative movements notably the Saccos to go digital for effective services to members.
All Saccos, especially those in rural areas were asked to perform their transactions online to minimize movement and contact among members during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Digitization is the key to maintaining service delivery in a safe and efficient manner,” advised Cynthia Wandia, a Chief Executive Officer of Kwara an Information Technology Company.
The report recommended that the SDC and County governments to encourage establishment of information base co-operatives which are likely to attract the youth.
Already the SDC is in the process of developing a Co-operative Management Information System (CMIS) to automate the services and ease linkages with the counties and co-operative societies in order to enhance service delivery.
The survey also found that many co-operative officials were elderly and lack skills and competencies in managing the affairs of the co-operatives.
“Many experienced co-operative development officers have exited the service without replacement thereby negatively affecting performance of the sector,” says the report.
Many respondents pointed out that the co-operative sector is facing governance challenges of non-adherences to best management practices leading to numerous judicial litigations.
The National Co-operative Policy which was approved last year by the cabinet and now at the implementation stage will however promote professionalism, co-operative philosophy and practice in the co-operative movement.
Since the co-operatives function was devolved there has been disconnect between national and county government in data sharing leading to challenges of aggregating sector statistics at the national level.