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Poor Saving Culture Frustrating Emyooga

HOIMA – The window of success for Emyooga, The Presidential Initiative On Job and Wealth Creation, is being narrowed by how little or not, association members are saving especially in Hoima District and Hoima City.

According to Derrick Matsiko, the Microfinance Support Center public relations officer for Bunyoro region, the poor saving culture among association members is still a challenge.

According to him, the government hoped that after registering and getting their certificates, Emyooga SACCO groups members would start accessing funds to boost their enterprises. 

He said however, the would-be beneficiary groups have failed to post the mandatory 30% savings required for them to borrow money.

He said SACCO members are supposed to ensure that systems and structures of the SACCOs and associations are strengthened. He said SACCOs are required to have proper records, office space, which is independent from individual member’s businesses and staff with basic qualifications.

Hoima District and Hoima Oil City received Shs 2.24 billion for the 72 beneficiary Savings and Credit Co-operatives (SACCOs), created out of 1,460 Emyooga associations.

According to Matsiko, only 15 out of 72 SACCOs, which got certificates three months ago, meet the requirements and have started accessing their money.  

The 15 SACCOs will only get Shs 110 .8 million out of the Shs 2.24 billion.

Matsiko made the revelation last Friday while unveiling the 10 SACCOs approved to start accessing money.

The lucky SACCOs include; Kigorobya Salon Operators, which got Shs 4m, Hoima East Tailors got Shs 12m, Kigorobya Women’s Entrepreneur got Shs 6m, Kigorobya Fishermen (Shs 2 million), Hoima East Veterans (Shs 6.7 million) and Hoima West Salon operators (Shs 4m). Others are Hoima West Local Leaders (Shs 6.7m), Bugahya Produce Dealers (Shs 5.4 million), Bugahya Welders (Shs 6 million, Hoima West Produce Dealers (Shs 20 million) and Hoima East Produce Dealers (Shs 14 million). He said the 10 SACCOs were granted Shs 74 .8 million. Five other SACCOs were also approved and given Shs 36 million.

“All the 15 SACCOS have offices, shares, records and they have been able to save some money but the remaining 57 SACCOs have money on their accounts but they cannot access it because they have failed to meet the requirements, which include; having 30% savings, office space, proper record keeping and staff,” he said.

Hoima Resident District Commissioner Yosam Tumwebaze said saving is mandatory because it will help beneficiaries ensure that Emyooga cash, which is meant to be a revolving fund, is used sustainably once received.

“The saving culture is stills a challenge but I am happy members have started saving, recently we only approved Shs 36 million for five SACCOs but today I see we have approved Shs 74 .8 million for 10 SACCOs. There is an improvement, if we continue sensitizing the public about the importance of saving, I have hope that next time we shall approve Shs 100 million,” Tumwebaze said.

He urged the beneficiaries to put the money to proper use. 

“Congratulations you have managed to get your funds, this money is meant to help you develop yourselves and move out of poverty, so when you get it, don’t spend the money on luxurious things but invest it because it’s a seed,” Tumwebaze said. 

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