By Malachi Motano
Traders inNyeri County have no reason to worry of where to save their hard earned money as one more savings and credit cooperative Society (Sacco) made up of small intreprenuours and mechanics springs up in to help in mobilising savings in the County and beyond.
According to the traders Sacco chairman Joseph Wanjohi, the entity that started as a welfare group for mechanics and other small traders from Othaya constituency went to register with social services as the Vision but were advised that the group had grown and qualified to be a Sacco.
“Many mechanics were not saving whatever they earned before. We had to convince them to start saving, pool the resources together, borrow the money and use it to expand their work,” he said.
Now referred to as Nyeri South Traders Sacco is aiming at pooling resources and giving the members loans to enable them expand their businesses.
Speaking to the media during their recent annual general meeting the Chairman explained that their main objective is to grow and start front office service activity (FOSA) department and open more branches within the County and even in the neighbourhood.
He reports that the Sacco membership has grown from 51 members to 86, while their savings have grown from Sh2.7 million in 2019 to Sh4 million in 2020. The Loans also grew from Sh2.7 million to Sh3 million, while the assets have increased from Sh3.5 million to Sh5 million during the year under review.
“Our Sacco targets the lowest cadres of people, especially the mechanics, who have no permanent working places and have to move around with their tools. Most of the time they are not sure whether they will get enough to feed their families at the end of the day and that is why we want to look for ways of empowering them,” he said.
Board member Naomi Wanjiru remembers that the group started by giving loans of Sh15,000 to members, which has now increased to Sh200,000 and members’ loans are guaranteed by their shares and do not need collaterals, Wanjiru said, adding that they can now borrow three times their savings.
Member Bernard Mwangi, said they started the Sacco with many challenges, while Agnes Njambi said it has enabled her acquire property. “I am also a trader and the money borrowed has greatly helped me grow my business,” she said.
Laikipia Governor Nderitu Muriithi, who was the chief guest, said 25 per cent of domestic savings are held by Saccos, which are key financial institutions in Kenya.
He said in Laikipia, the county government has engaged Saccos as channels of the county’s economic stimulus.
This, he said, means Saccos can pick some resources from the county’s cooperative revolving fund at around six per cent and give it to members at seven per cent.
“We have a lot of faith in Saccos as financial institutions,” he said.