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Issuance of registration certificates delays Emyooga funds in Lira

The Presidential initiative on wealth and job creation (Emyooga)which was launched by President Yoweri Museveni two years ago has failed to kick-off due to complications involving the issuance of Registration Certificates to approved groups and swearing-in of interim group leaders by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives.

Emyooga was launched by President Museveni in August 2019 as part of the government's continuous strategies to transform 68% of Ugandan homesteads from subsistence to market-oriented production. The government set aside Shs100 bn for the program, with each constituency due to receive Shs 560m.

On December 11, 2020, The Ministry of Finance and Social Development wired Shs.15 bn onto the Lira district SACCO groups’ accounts, but to date, the members of the groups have not yet gotten access to the money.

According to Lira District Commercial Officer, Santos Olade, although the money was released in December last year and Shs 30m wired to the bank accounts of each of the approved SACCO groups, the funds have remained inaccessible to them because they have not been issued registration certificates and their group leaders have not been sworn in.

“The reason as to why these SACCO groups cannot access their money in their bank account is that they have not been issued with registration certificates that enable them to access the fund,” Olade said.

“A group is a legal person and when it has no certificate then it becomes illegal,” he added.

Another reason for the delay in accessing the funds, Olade said, is that the groups currently have interim leaders who may not be allowed access to the SACCOs’ accounts unless re-elected.

“These SACCO leaders who are the signatories to the bank account are in an interim position and by law, they have first to be re-elected. Hence, when the certificates come, we shall then carry out elections of these leaders,” he said.

Lira that comprises Lira City East Division, Lira City West Division, Erute North, and Erute South constituencies, has a total of 59 registered Emyooga Saccos, and over 146,000 Emyooga Group Associations whose members include salon owners, Boda Boda operators, produce dealers, journalists, mechanics, carpenters, and tailors, among others.

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