By Munene Maina.
Business people and residents of Nakuru County towns can now access credit at low interest rates in addition to other co-operative services as more Saccos open branches in the region.
Nakuru and Naivasha towns have recently recorded an increase in the number of savings and credit co-operative societies (Saccos) operating in the towns.
This is in spite of the towns having high number of commercial banks offering financial services to residents.
“The county has created an enabling environment for Saccos and banks to operate. Competition is welcome since it will enhance efficiency in the co-operative movement,”said Patrick Mak’Anyengo, Nakuru Director of Co-operatives.
He said the growth of co-operative sector within the county will greatly influence the economic empowerment of many families.
“Saccos play a big role in inculcating saving culture in the society. This is key in creating wealth for families,” he said
Among the new Saccos that have set up base in the County include Nyandarua-based Tower Sacco, Wananchi Sacco, Kingdom Sacco and Waumini Sacco.
Mak’Anyengo noted that the co-operative sector had recorded high growth rate in the last one year. He said the County had helped the youth establish Saccos in every Sub-County.
Vision Afrika Sacco Naivasha Branch Manager Michael Baraza said the increase of Saccos within the County was a boon to business people.
“This offers them a variety of choices in services they want. It has also made Saccos better their services to attract clients,” he said.
He said Vision Afrika Sacco had come up with new products that suit everyone who needed their services.This, he said had led to increase of membership in the branch.
Sophia Mwangi, Naivasha Co-operative officer noted that many people in the area were now able to access loans easily as financial services were closer to them.
She, however, pointed out some of the Saccos needed to be merged to strengthen them. Naivasha Sub-County has registered 159 co-operatives where 102 are Saccos mainly in flower farms.
“Some lack finances to employ qualified personnel a thing that has contributed to poor management,” said Mwangi.