SACCos challenged to tap new frontiers in economy – Kenya News Agency
The SACCO cooperative movement was challenged to tap into all sectors of the economy to promote entrepreneurship activities among small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
Speaking at a workshop of the Kenya Cooperative Alliance (CAK) National Oversight and Audit Committee in Tsavo, the director of the cooperative banking division of the cooperative bank Vincent Marangu said he was essential for SACCOs to broaden their scope now that the country is gradually opening up for business after the Covid 19 pandemic is pushing the economy to the brink of a precipice.
He urged SACCOs to take advantage of the relief offered by the government in the 2021/22 fiscal budget allocations to expand their net sectors that were traditionally not fully exploited, especially those in the agriculture and infrastructure sectors.
“Looking at what the government has done in the budget, like increasing allocations in the agricultural sector and also in housing, cooperatives can take advantage and benefit from it,” he said.
He singled out the coffee, tea and even dairy sectors that have the potential to reap big profits, saying the stabilization of the dollar will help co-ops take advantage of it.
“This meeting comes at a time when the economy is in recovery mode, the world market is opening up and there is optimism about the full recovery of international trade,” he said.
Marangu further noted that the outlook was very bright for cooperative housing societies after the government injected additional funds to facilitate the provision of affordable housing, adding that the current budget focused on reducing the relative deficit. to the previous allowance.
“We’re going to see a lot of demand from the government on internal borrowing, but it won’t be good for private financial institutions, especially those that have excess spare cash and can benefit from other types of investment in. due to increased appetite for funding.
He expressed optimism that co-operatives will remain as resilient as they did during the 2008/09 global financial crisis, where they demonstrated stability in the face of the storm.
“Under the Covid-19 pandemic, these cooperatives have resisted and we expect them to offer loans carefully to be able to recover the loans and the future looks very bright for those who play their cards well,” said the director.
The Deputy Director of Reporting and Data Management at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Susan Kinyeki, for her part said the commission would partner with the CAK to address and eliminate some of the malfeasance detected in the sector.
“We have received reports of embezzlement, some are investigated while others we have referred them to several agencies,” she said.
Kinyeki explained that in the past 5 years, the commission has received more than 300 reports of abuse and that currently more than 50 of them are under investigation.
“We advise cooperatives to identify risk areas in their SACCOs and mitigate them. We had better do corruption rather than investigations and we ask them to put in place a risk mechanism.
Daniel Marube, Executive Director and CEO of CAK, said today’s monitoring and audit meeting aims to ensure sound financial management in cooperative societies.
He noted that the members of the audit committee play a key role as a monitoring role on behalf of the members to see and verify how the management and staff are managing the affairs of their co-ops.
“In order to maintain their role, their confidence and their faith in the financial sector, we need to strengthen and equip the members of the oversight on how they can carry out their mandate of strengthening good governance so that we do not have to ethical and auditing issues in our SACCOs, ”he said.
Marube noted that during the meeting the main key areas for surveillance and auditors to consider in order to minimize risk are in the areas of ICT, cybersecurity or even fraud detection.
“Supervisory members working and providing services to cooperative societies should be able to equip themselves with the necessary tools to become good auditors and good financial managers in order to conserve the resources of our members,” said the CEO.
The three-day meeting takes place under the theme “The role of members of the cooperative supervisory committee in the transformation and good governance and prudential financial management, in cooperative societies”.
By Wangari Ndirangu