FARIDI SACCO has said it will pay members final equity dividends of 13 per cent in the year 2022 that will see 13,889 members benefit from the payouts.

During the society’s 47th Annual General meeting held at St Joseph’s Busia Girls Primary School, the Sacco’s Board chairman Godfrey Saidi said they also recommended interest on members’ deposits of 12%.

Saidi said the society’s membership grew by 4,079 in 2023 to 13,889, noting that the growth was funded by members’ deposit and reserves.

The turnover rose from Sh343 million to Sh389 million in 2023. The turnover would have been higher had the Board of Directors and management increased the interest rate after the Central Bank of Kenya increased the base lending rate.

The chairman said the loan portfolio grew by Sh255 million (17%) from.Sh1.4 billion in 2022 to Sh1.7 billion in 2023.

Saidi said, in line with the Corporate Social Responsibility, the Board, for the first time, introduced scholarships for needy and bright students from each electoral area. The students were fairly selected by an independent committee of the staff.

Those who benefited from the Faridi scholarships included Mary Ajuma (Kolanya Girls National School), Joseph Agola (Butula Boys), Joseph Barasa (Kakamega High), Joan Mugeni (Ng’iya Girls), Samson Olaktar (Kolanya Boys), Rusper Auma (Nangina Girls), Thomas Opondo (Sigalame High), Ann Mijide (Nangina Girls), Miriam Sheila (Mukumu Girls), Joel Ojiambo (Sigalame High), Melvine Oramis(Kolanya Girls National School), Warren Ngome (Nakuru High), and Joline Lorna (Nangina Girls).

The chairman cited challenges facing the society, which included implementation of new taxes and enactment of the Finance Bill that saw the reduction in income among many. Others are underpayment of loans due to new taxes, change of paypoints, low uptake of business loans, and poor saving culture.

“Many loans were underpaid. Others went into default, delayed and reduced disbursement to schools affected, majority of the Sacco members’ loans, and deposits. The society, however, remained strong and steadfast in service delivery amidst the challenging economic environment,” he said.

Saidi added: ” The contribution of 18 vibrant sales team, Board, management and general membership for the growth of its membership . The on-boarding of the business community has contributed to expansion of the clientele and loanbook.

Total assets increased by Ksh289m to Ksh1.85b in 2023. Saidi also disclosed that the new Faridi SACCO service centre have been opened at Ugunja in Siaya and Port Victoria in Bunyala, adding that Ksh30m has been set aside for the construction of Malaba Office Block, noting that other plans includes Ksh2.1m for sinking of a borehole at the head office, creation of two more service centres at Changara in Teso North Sub County and Siaya Town, introduction of agency banking in all trading centres within Busia and Siaya Counties, and purchase of SACCO car.

The chairman outlined the achievements the society realized in 2023. They include possession of the land and plaza, refund of plaza shares to deposits, renovation of the plaza to habitable status, purchase of SACCO van, recruitment of 4,000 more members, introduction of business loan and mobi-loans,scholarships of 13 bright and needy students.

Others include system upgrade, payment of dividends advance through mobile-banking, opening and operationization of Port Victoria and Ugunja service centres, successful education to members program, successful payout of 2022 dividends and interest on deposits, and operating without borrowed funds.

He said due to heavy expenditure in plaza renovation and purchase of branded SACCO van, architectural designs for Malaba office will commence this year , noting that the board of directors has proposed a saving of Ksh2.5m monthly to put up an office block in 2025 and save on rent that is rising every year.

Saidi said they held a road show across the county of Busia and parts of Kakamega, Siaya Counties, and managed to recruit a total of 4,000 members , noting that they intend to carry out and elaborate and aggressive marketing campaign to recruit more members and sale products.

A reward of Ksh500 for Teachers Service Commission and civil servants and Ksh300 for funded business accounts. Members are encouraged to take advantage of the reward system to recruit more and earn a token.

The chairman said they are happy to note and recognize that the number of members with over Ksh1million deposits has increased from 17 in 2022 to 25 in 2023, adding that the society has rewarded them a total of Ksh25,000, urging members to aggressively enhance their savings.

Chief Guest and County Executive Committee Member for Trade Omuse Olakachuna said the amendment of the by-laws is awaiting the enactment of the new Co-operative bill 2023 that is still under enactment by the Busia County Assembly.

” If passed the bill will help in the management of SACCOS and get rid of corruption practices snd other practices by some members. We have devolved SACCOs to all 35 wards.I urge members of Faridi SACCO to also join ward Saccos to increase their capital base,” he said.

Olakachuna said his department will ensure Saccos are run in compliance with the Co-operative Act to ensure efficient management that will be geared towards expansion of such saccos to match Faridi which is the leading society in Busia and entire Western Region.

He thanked Faridi SACCO for expanding its membership to include small traders like mama mboga and boda boda riders, which he said had helped to increase their capital base.

The CEC thanked Faridi Board of Directors for awarding 13 bright and needy students with full scholarships, noting that it’s a worthwhile venture considering that most teachers taught these children while some of their parents are deceased.

Those present included CEC for Culture and Sports Paul Ekwenye, Director Cooperatives Joshua Akwara, FARIDI new CEO Dismas Esamai, who takes over from Irene Obura, who resigned on her own volition, KNUT Teso Executive Secretary Geoffrey Ekasiba and his Busia counterpart Patrick Mulamba.

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