Cooperatives Commissioner David Obonyo has urged the sector to be guided by the values and principles of the cooperative movement in their operations, with a view to standing out from other business models.
Addressing Sacco leaders during a Cooperative Alliance of Kenya (CAK) conference recently, Obonyo noted that the core mandate of CAK is to ensure cooperatives entrench the principles and values of cooperatives so that its business model becomes different from the sole proprietorship model.
He further urged cooperatives to uphold and practice the fifth cooperative principle of “Education, Training and Information.”
He expressed concern that some cooperators do not find it easy to interact with their colleagues.
“In the cooperative movement, we move ahead as one. It is one for all and all for one. The movement cannot be strong if we cannot cooperate amongst ourselves,” Obonyo advised.
He urged the leaders to keep on reminding their members about the values and principles of the cooperative movement.
“Do not forget your positions as policy shapers,” he said, adding that they should be on the fore front of moving the cooperative sector to the next level.
He promised that the government will not micro-manage the sector, but will instead create a conducive environment for it to thrive.
“The government’s responsibility is to create policies, regulations and legal frameworks that allow Saccos and cooperatives to capitalize on that good environment to grow,” he said.
He revealed that the government will amend the Sacco’s Act to have a deposit guarantee fund, central liquidity and shared services, and that the Cooperatives CS Simon Chelugui will be re-submitting the bill to the Cabinet to be enacted by Parliament before the end of the year.
He revealed that they are promoting the agenda of shared services so as to reduce operational costs.
He further urged Saccos to position themselves well and come up with products and services that will attract fish, dairy and mining industries that the government plans to revitalize.
He reiterated that people are after excellent service; hence Saccos ought to be creative and innovative in their delivery and give members an experience beyond their usual expectations.
He expressed confidence that with the total assets hovering around Ksh1.5 trillion, the cooperative movement had all it takes to get to the next level of growth.
By George Otieno
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