The Microfinance Support Center (MSC) has approved the application of 12 Emyooga Saccos in Bugiri District to receive an additional seed capital of 20 million shillings for exhibiting good performance.
On Thursday the zonal manager for Emyooga in Busoga sub-region Nduho Mugyenyi announced that the 12 Saccos had been approved to receive the additional seed capital.
“The Saccos complained that the seed capital received was not enough, and asked for more funds. So far, 12 applications have been received for the good performing saccos , and they have been approved. They are only awaiting disbursement,” said Mugyenyi during a meeting to monitor the performance of the program in Bugiri by the Minister of State for Microfinance, Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo .
Bugiri has three constituencies including Bukoli North, Bukoli Central and Bugiri Municipality and a total of 54 saccos which received a total of shs1.68 billion as seed capital from Microfinance Support Center .
The saccos have made savings worth shs900 million whereas disbursed loans are worth shs2.7 billion
“The amount of money that has been lent out by Saccos to Associations is over 2.7 billion shillings. The biggest challenge that Bugiri is facing is loan recovery. Loan recovery is very low. We also have a challenge of multiple borrowers. They borrow money from different Emyooga Saccos, and their aim is to not pay back . However, we are doing everything possible to ensure the money is recovered. Whoever borrowed this money must pay back. We are going to work with the Commercial Officer and the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) to make sure this money is recovered, and lent out to others,” Mugyenyi said.
He also highlighted the challenge of a poor savings culture among the population but noted that efforts to rectify the issue are ongoing.
The Bugiri RDC, Ramadhan Walugembe pledged to use his authority to ensure that whoever borrowed money for Emyooga, pays back.
“All that has been read here, the challenge is recovery. When you borrow money and repay, another one benefits by taking a loan as well. This means that the program will benefit all, not a few. There is a challenge that when one gets money for Emyooga, they resort to marrying a second woman. Emyooga is a government development program, and its main goal is to pull you people out of poverty. It is not marrying women. I will move with CAO to monitor this program. So, inform those who have refused to pay that we are coming,” he said.
However, beneficiaries decried the absence of banks in the districts where they can keep the money, noting that Finance Trust Bank which had a branch in Bugiri town, shifted to Iganga.
They said moving to Iganga to bank the money has become extremely challenging.
However, Minister Kasolo advised beneficiaries to use agent banking services.
“Leaders who are here need to sensitize the population how the country is moving. Some things are simple but you make them difficult. Parliament passed Agent Banking [Financial Institutions (Amendment) Bill, 2015]. You don’t need a bank to bank your money. One of you should go to the bank, and apply to be a bank agent in Bugiri. He/she can apply to various banks, and they become an agent of multiple banks. Whoever wants to make any transaction does so through that agent. This is easier than going to the banking hall to make a transaction. You don’t need to travel to Iganga to bank the money,” Kasolo advised.
He reminded the population to engage in daily income generating activities if they are to get out of poverty.