By Our Reporter
The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Co-operatives is expediting review of legal, policy and institutional framework to promote savings mobilisation, financial deepening and access among citizens.
Commissioner for Co-operatives Development Mary Mungai has said disharmony in legal and policy frameworks can result in unsustainable practices that may lead to poor governance and service delivery in co-operative institutions.
“We are cognizant of the fact and we are expediting the review. We are also seeking cabinet approval for the Co-operative Development Policy,” said Mungai.
She said the policy has been subjected to stakeholder analysis and has been presented for approval by the Cabinet. Once a sessional paper is done it will be presented to Parliament for final approval.
Mungai said the State Department for Co-operatives will continue creating an enabling environment for the growth and sustainability of the cooperative movement.
At the same time, the commissioner cautioned co-operatives to be wary of cybercrime that is leading many financial institutions to lose funds through the use of technology in unscrupulous ways.
“We urge all co-operative leadership to exercise due diligence while procuring ICT service providers and have safeguards to ensure the ICT platform is safe and secure at all times,” he said.
She, however, said information and communication technology is increasingly becoming a great enabler for businesses regardless of size as more leverage on technology to improve productivity.
“I urge co-operatives societies to continue embracing the use of ICT for improved operational and accounting efficiency,” she said. Mungai called on co-operatives to encourage youth to participate in co-operative movement as members and at the leadership level.
She said the Government had set aside youth and women fund to enable their participation in the formal market economy.
The Commissioner also said her department was promoting registration of Saccos for Kenyans in the diaspora.
“This is aimed at tapping the huge potential from this group and to channel the said savings for socio-economic development in an organised manner as well as establishing a footprint of Kenyan movement in the global international business arena,” Mungai said.
She said they had registered Saccos in USA, Canada, Europe, Middle East, Nigeria, South Africa and Swaziland among others.
Mungai, who was speaking during Hazina Sacco Annual Delegates Meeting said co-operative movement in Kenya has mobilized savings of Sh 637.3 billion, asset base of Sh879.4 billion and granted members loans totalling to Sh605.3 billion as at 31stDecember 2016.
“Saccos continue to be vehicles to intermediate between savings and investments in addition to encouraging their members to embrace a saving culture for socio-economic development,” she said.