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Lira teachers’ SACCO in need of soft loan

LIRA, March 27, 2024 – Lira Primary and Secondary School Teachers SACCO needs a capital boost in the form of a soft loan to facilitate the lending business of the SACCO, according to a top official.

According to Isaac Ocoo, the headmaster of Head Lira Secondary School who doubles as the Chairperson of the SACCOA, most teachers are unable to save monthly due to poor pay, and many expenses, and this has affected the financial standing of the SACCO.

“Each of the SACCO is supposed to save not less than Shs 10,000 monthly and buy shares of Shs 20,000 but most teachers have not paid the money,” he says, adding that the SACCO has no money to lend to its members right now.

He says the SACCO formed in 2020 is dominated mainly by primary school teachers and has only 70 active members despite the fact that Lira City and Lira district have many teachers in both primary and secondary schools.

Further, Ocoo said they had hopes for getting soft loans from Walimu SACCOs Union but this has not been possible as the latter has the challenge of liquidity.

Walimu SACCOs Union is an amalgamation of teachers’ SACCOs in Uganda. However the Union is struggling to recover all Shs 25 billion seed capital government provided for teachers following a series of strikes tagged to poor pay.

Unfortunately, some of the teachers’ SACCOs that received part of the money have not paid back, according to Walimu SACCOs Union officials. The money was supposed to help teachers improve their welfare.

According to Ocoo, the formation of they formed the SACCO knowing they would be getting soft loans from Walimu SACCOs Union.

“When we started this SACCO [Lira Primary and Secondary School Teachers SACCO], we thought that we would be getting money at low interest from Walimu SACCOs Union so that we would also lend to our  teachers at a fair interest rate, but this is not happening,” he said, adding that the area politicians have promised the SACCO some money.

He said some teachers intentionally don’t want to save with the SACCO. “The challenge I’m getting as a chair is that majority are primary school teachers, we don’t have much money to give in for saving due to the monthly expenses that they go through, but also the teachers are not saving intentionally,” he said.

Speaking to the Lira City Commercial Officer, Richard Okello urged teachers to save with their SACCO, saying that savings play an important role in the growth of any SACCO because they provide a capital base for loans.

He discouraged teachers from seeking bank loans, saying they come with stringent terms and conditions.

“You see if you went to any bank right now in Lira City, you will find most of the clients for salary loans are teachers. Banks have hidden terms and conditions that a client must meet. he said.

He said with SACCOs teachers can save money and lend among themselves at lower interest rates, so it’s better to save with the SACCO, and borrow from there, than going to borrow from the banks,” Okello said.

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