THE Microfinance Support Centre has in its strategic plan earmarked about sh555b to be loaned out to savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs) over the next five years.
However, the Government-owned agency has warned SACCOs against sitting back and waiting to receive the money without applying for it.
â€œThe money is available from this year to 2014. It is the responsibility of a SACCOs to come and ask for it,â€ Rosette Nakanwagi, the centreâ€™s collaboration coordinator, said during a press briefing at Arua Catholic Centre in Arua town on Friday.
She emphasised that there is no programme of delivering money to organisations that have not applied for it, as has widely been perceived by some groups.
Nakanwagi enumerated that for a SACCO to qualify for funding it should be registered with at least a manager, loans officer and an elected executive committee.
Other requirements are a physical address, minimum operating manuals and it should have been in business for at least one year.
She revealed that their experience so far has shown that most new cooperatives were started by individuals who want to manage them on their own.
â€œThere are situations where the founder is the chairperson, manager and treasurer. Such an organisation will be denied money,â€ Nakanwagi warned.
She said challenges in governance, where members of the board lack skills to run the organisation, and poor record keeping were the other prominent issues setting back new SACCOs.
She said the Uganda Cooperative Savings and Credit Union had been established to build capacity of SACCOs to absorb the money.
The savings and credit union will also provide office equipment, train and pay salary for vital organisation staff like the managers and loan officers. They will also pay rent for the selected organisations.
Bern Katana, the senior financial services officer at the centreâ€™s regional office in Arua, revealed that they had as of April 30 disbursed over sh2b to 28 SACCOs in West Nile.
SACCOS to get Sh555b in loans