Boda Boda operators in Aduku Town Council, Kwania district have been urged to form Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) as one way to promote economic growth and social cohesion among them.
The Boda Boda operators, under their umbrella of Aduku-Kwania Boda Boda Association (AKBBA) that is comprised of over 200 members, have been operating for the last 10 years without forming a single SACCO.
However, according to Transport Principal Secretary, Paul Maringa, this contravenes the National Transport and Safety requirements which stipulate that all Boda Boda operators should be members of a SACCO.
Geoffrey Omuge, the Aduku Kwania Boda Boda Association spokesperson says their Association has thus far only been concerned with administrative duties and disaster challenge management.
“The Association controls the discipline of the Boda Boda riders; we design areas and hours of Boda Boda operations and handle issues to do with their welfare,” he said, adding:
“We also collect money towards burial arrangements when a member dies or loses a close relative, but we did not know that we were required to form a SACCO,” he said, although he noted that a few of the association’s members have joined Village Saving Groups (VSLAs).
Peter Otim, the Aduku Town Council Vice Chairperson urged the Boda Boda riders to quickly form a SACCO to empower themselves economically.
Otim made the remarks Thursday while addressing the Boda Boda riders at a handover ceremony of 60 life jackets to Aduku Boda Boda operators by the Special Anointing Oil Company (SAO) at its offices in Aduku Town Council.
Otim noted that the formation of Boda Boda SACCOs will open doorways for the Boda Bodas to benefit from government programmes such as Emyooga. He regretted that no Boda Boda SACCO group had been formed to benefit from the programme in the area, despite Boda Boda riders being among the target beneficiaries.
“Boda Boda riders in Aduku have been left out. You don’t benefit from the government programme because you have refused to form a SACCO. If this trend continues, my brothers, you will remain swimming in the pool of poverty forever,” he said.
Walter Abila, SAO’s Kwania district Coordinator had some practical advice for the Boda operators:
“Get in touch with the office of the District Commercial Officer on the modalities of forming a SACCO,” he urged. “You will never be the same.”
Walter Opyene, a Boda Boda rider in Aduku Town Council welcomed the idea of forming the SACCO. He rallied his fellow Boda riders to embrace the idea. Another Boda Boda rider, Richard Odur, observed that there is an urgent need to sensitize them about the idea.
Patrick Abura, the Kwania District Commercial Officer, said his office plans to train the Boda Boda riders on financial literacy in order to empower them and change their attitude towards savings.
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