GULU- Authorities in Gulu City have resumed the disbursement of Emyooga funds to different Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies [Saccos], even though the officials face hurdles in the recovery of the funds from groups that borrowed earlier.
Gulu City received over a billion shillings from the government through the Microfinance Support Centre [MSC] to support income-generating activities of various Emyooga Saccos.
Atleast Shs 521mln was given to18 Saccos in Western Division of Bardege-Layibi while Laroo-Pece Division was allocated 303mln to be given to the 18 different Saccos.
Records from the City’s commercial office showed that only Shs 327mln out of the Shs1.15 billion allocated to the city in the first phase has so far been recovered , leaving out about Shs 800mln.
With the low recovery rate, officials halted the disbursement of funds to the different Saccos as the first beneficiaries fled the area without paying back the used as a revolving fund.
Gulu City Principal Commercial, Officer Nickson Atemo Komakech told theCooperator days ago in an interview that the council was struggling to recover money.
Komakech said that a number of group members who received the money have fled the city into the villages while others relocated to other districts and cannot be traced.
The Resident City Commissioner, [RCC] Jane Frances Okili said the situation is frustrating the government’s efforts and interventions to support livelihoods as wellas improving the country’s money economy.
She however said that MSC has released additional funding under the project. The city is expected to get more Shs 720mln to support the already registered groups.
The Emeyooga Acholi Sub Regional Coordinator, Caroline Alarokoma said the disbursement of funds in the region to groups is at 65 percent with recovery standing at a low of 30 percent.
She explained that the additional funding will be allocated to the Emyooga groups with the best track records in the utilisation of the money and paying back.
“We have started profiling the best performing groups to submit their files to the microfinance support centre and those are the only groups that will receive the additional money,” Alarokoma explained.
Recently, city officials summoned group leaders for a meeting and tasked them to produce records of their performances and as well as tracing members who disappeared.
Meanwhile, Komakech, the prinipal commercial officer, is hopeful the new conditions will tighten the misuse of the funds among Emyooga Saccos while borrowing resumes.
Buy your copy of theCooperator magazine from one of our countrywide vending points or an e-copy on emag.thecooperator.news