The State Minister for Microfinance, Hon. Haruna Kasolo Kyeyune, has advised small scale entrepreneurs to desist from taking high-interest loans from commercial banks, arguing that such rates may cripple rather than boost their businesses.
He made the remarks on Wednesday 11th March, while launching the Presidential initiative on Wealth and Job Creation (EMYOOOGA) at Bomah Hotel in Gulu Municipality.
Minister Kasolo said the interest rates charged by commercial banks on loans to small scale enterprises make them inaccessible for entrepreneurs. Instead, he proposed they borrow from the Microfinance Support Centre Ltd (MSC) which, he says, offers cheaper credit.
“Now that you have your own institution which has been set up by government to support you, avoid accessing high interest loans from banks,” he said. “You don’t even have the collateral or security required for those expensive loans.”
He added that government is rectifying the challenges affecting the effective operations of Microfinance Support Centres (MSC)in order to better serve small-scale enterprises across the country
“We have commercial officers at district level who should mobilise people into groups and link these groups to access financing cheaply through MSC,” he said.
‘Don’t politicise initiative
Mr Kasolo also warned leaders from Acholi Sub region against politicising the initiative, saying this would frustrate its core objectives.
“On issues of development, we are all in it together. I was sent by the president of the country, not the Chairman of NRM; and this is a presidential, not an NRM initiative,” he stressed.
Amuru Woman Member of Parliament Ms Lucy Akello had accused NRM leaders of failing to differentiate between party projects and government initiatives meant to benefit all citizens.
“Let’s think beyond our party when it comes to developmental issues, for the betterment of our citizens,” she urged.
The Presidential initiative on Wealth and Job Creation, known locally as Emyooga, aims at supporting small scale enterprises as part of government’s commitment to stimulate market-oriented production.
Under the initiative, each SACCO of 30 members or more stands a chance of receiving support of up to Shs. 30 million in initial seed capital.