Members of Lira University staff’s Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisation (SACCO) have received Shs 100m in fulfillment of an outstanding presidential pledge, the university’s management has revealed.
President Yoweri Museveni pledged to give Shs 100m to support the staff SACCO while presiding over the university’s first graduation ceremony on 1st November 2019, in an event where former Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Dr. Benjamin Odoki was installed as the University’s Chancellor.
The president made the pledge following a request, made to him by Odoki, for financial support towards the university SACCO.
Lira University’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Jasper Ogwal Okeng confirmed receipt of the promised cash to theCooperator and thanked the President for honoring his pledge.
“The money is already on our account. As the University’s management, we are grateful that the president has fulfilled his pledge which has been long overdue,” the VC said in a telephone interview.
Ogwal Okeng revealed that the president’s pledge was fulfilled on Monday when State House deposited Shs 100m to the SACCO’s account in FINCA Uganda, Lira branch.
“After addressing a meeting of leaders from Lango sub-region at Lira University on Monday, President Museveni’s brother, Salim Saleh, received the SACCO’s bank account number and eventually wired the funds into it.”
Ogwal Okeng is hopeful that the monies received will boost staff’s businesses and farming activities in order to increase their income and enhance livelihoods.
Lira University Secretary, Augustine Oyang, says that the money will be distributed to staff in form of low-interest loans, adding that prior to the president’s contribution, the SACCO had only Shs 40m in savings from its 213 active members.
“Following this financial boost by the president, we intend to mobilize members to save and acquire interests from the SACCO at lower rates which will be set in the general meeting to be held soon,” Oyang said.
Some of the Sacco members who spoke to theCooperator expressed excitement about the donation.
Joe Olute, a lecture at the university, says the cash donation will help members acquire loans at affordable rates to boost their outside business.
Another Sacco Member, Silvia Amono says the money came at the right time that the SACCO is registering low savings due to the effects of the Coronavirus.
“But the SACCO Managers should be transparent while utilizing the fund,” Amono cautioned.
Lira University, located in Barapwo in Lira City West division is among the 11 Public Universities in Uganda. It started as a Constituent College of Gulu University in 2019 and attained autonomy as a fully-fledged Public University in 2015.
The University has a fully-constituted Council, Senate, Appointments Board, and other committees including over 200 staff members, all of whom are SACCO members.
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