The minister of trade, industry and cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde, has said that government is to revive the Uganda Cooperative Bank to steer the performance of cooperative unions in the country.
Kyambadde was speaking at the commissioning of the new office block of Kyankwanzi SACCO Limited located at Lusoozi trading center Kyankwanzi sub-county, Kyankwanzi district.
It coincided with the SACCO annual general meeting where among other things, the SACCO budget for the financial year 2016/2017 amounting to sh330,600,000 was passed by the members.
“The revival of Cooperative Bank will address the issues of the farmers and the traders like affordable low interest loans “, he said.
The minister disclosed that traders and farmers find it difficult to access loans in commercial banks where interest rates range between 20 and 30% on top of unbearable repayment conditions.
Kyambadde said that cabinet has already given a go-ahead for the revival of Uganda Cooperative Bank with her ministry tasked with coordinating enterprise based cooperative movements to merge into the bank.
The principal cooperative officer in the ministry of trade, industry and cooperative, Jackson Abitekaniza said that they were in the process of paying off loans government owes over 10 cooperatives to revitalize them for a purpose of reviving the Cooperative Bank of Uganda.
He revealed that this may cost over sh.13 billions to pay the cooperatives.
They include West Mengo cooperative union limited, Bunyoro growers’ cooperative union, East mengo cooperative union limited, West Acholi cooperative union limited, Masaka cooperative union limited among others.
On the note of SACCOs, Kyambadde recommended Kyankwanzi SACCO limited for more government funding after she was impressed by its performance.
Started in 2007, the SACCO with over 1600 members is ranked the best in Luweero and Bunyoro regions by the Uganda micro-finance support center.
“I have visited a number of SACCOs across the region and the country but to assure you I’m yet to find one organized like Kyankwanzi SACCO. In loan repayment you are update and would like to ask the Uganda micro-finance support center to grant you more loans”, she said.
The Kyankwanzi SACCO Limited chairperson, Aidah Namara, reported to the minister that the president donated sh.100 millions to the SACCO and it was part of the fund which used for the SACCO offices completion.
The offices coasted over sh.80 millions and it accommodates all the SACCO offices.