By George Otieno
State Department for Cooperatives Development PS Ali Noor Ismail has called upon Sacco leaders to unite in addressing challenges facing them.
While addressing Sacco Board of Directors, CEOs and their deputies and other stakeholders at Pride Inn in Mombasa, the PS said the sector was stronger and only functional if players came together to address their unique and shared challenges.
The PS identified shared infrastructure as one area that would address their needs as a group. Others areas he highlighted include products and services that would appeal and meet members’ every day needs and expectations.
During the national leaders’ conference organized by the Cooperative Bank of Kenya, the leaders explored the way forward to better position Saccos for future business.
Due to the enviable role Cooperative Bank has played, Ali Noor urged the leaders to support its goal of enhancing the societies meet some of their financial needs.
“Cooperative Bank needs your support since nobody will come from outside to support it. 64.56 per cent of it is owned by the cooperative movement,” he said.
The PS encouraged the Group CEO Dr. Gideon Muriuki to share the bank’s journey and the experience, through a book, that he and the bank have had over the years.
Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) CEO Mr. Peter Njuguna urged the leaders to put up structures to ensure that societies do not collapse in case of financial crisis.
Societies’ financial turbulence, he warned, could Saccos lose investments hence the need to create the necessary structures to protect them.
He identified shared technological platforms and the Deposit Guarantee Fund as some of the systems that will address any emerging needs.
“Creation of financial market infrastructures ensures that no member of a cooperative society loses money,” he said, adding that in the event an institution is in trouble, it can quickly be turned around and in one way of the other the member does not lose their money.
Cooperative Alliance of Kenya CEO Mr. Daniel Marube underscored collaboration between the cooperative sector and the government.
He said that the movement has the option of either being confrontational with the government of the day when lobbying for their issues or being collaborative.
Marube said collaboration has achieved and bigger steps in the sector made through the government and the cooperative movement working together.
“We work very closely with the national government and the county governments through their Council of Governors (COG) for the delivery of the policy and the bill that we hope will be among the first to be discussed in the next government,” Mr. Marube stated.
Marube identified Sasra as another key partner they cannot ignore if they are to achieve the intended results.
On the upcoming general elections scheduled for 9th August, the CAK boss reiterated that the cooperative movement remains nonpartisan to any political party but would support the government of the day for economic and political stability to take place.
Mr. Muriuki gave an inspiring and captivating speech on the bank’s journey to become one of the most trusted financial institutions in the country.
He also promised to support Saccos and the cooperatives in their efforts to deepen financial inclusion in the country and improve the social and economic status of its members.