Gov’t hails Co-op Bank for supporting the cooperative movement

Co-op Bank Director, Co-operatives Division, Mr. Vincent Marangu (left) with Mr. Noor Ismail, Principal Secretary State Department for Co-operative Development

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 14 – Principal Secretary, State Department for Co-operative Ali Noor Ismail has thanked Co-operative Bank for its continued support to Saccos and at the same time urged the Cooperative societies to embrace digitisation as a strategy to fight graft.

The PS made the remarks when Co-operative unveiled its annual national co-operatives workshop where chief executive from across the country deliberate on key issues concerning the industry.

Through its subsidiary, Co-op Consultancy and Insurance Agency, the CEOs will be sensitised on how to revolutionise their societies and operate within the competitive business environment.

The workshop themed “Co-operatives tomorrow: Technology and Innovation for Sustainable and Inclusive Development” aims to enhance the institutional capacities of co-operative societies, who are the core stakeholders of the bank.

The workshop themed “Co-operatives tomorrow: Technology and Innovation for Sustainable and Inclusive Development” aims to enhance the institutional capacities of co-operative societies, who are the core stakeholders of the bank.

At the same time the PS challenged Co-operative societies to leverage on information communication technology (ICT) in a bid to assist them grow as well as drive innovation.

Cooperative societies were also advised to embrace digitisation in order to expand their reach to members as well as curb the increasing theft incidences in the sector.

PS Ali Noor Ismail said digital inventories assist with identification processes as well as the legal recovery of smuggled, looted or stolen money. It also increases transparency of money flow and therefore can reduce vices rampant in the Saccos, he added.

Through technology, Ismail said, Saccos will be able to introduce new products, improve liquidity to its members and achieve better margins by even cutting cost of undertaking the loan processing.

He urged cooperatives to embrace technology to deliver services to members, recruit more, save overhead costs and allow faster delivery of services.

“When cooperatives use technology, we have seen new types of products introduced that meet more specific needs of members, improve liquidity in Saccos and even yield better margins for cooperatives,” he said.

The digitisation call by the PS comes at a time when many Saccos appear to be at a crossroads with most top members being arrested on issues related to theft, misappropriation and mismanagement of cash and resources.

Noor urged co-operatives to adopt technology for their day-to-day business in a bid to compete with the non-conventional institutions which are competing with them so as to change their ways of doing business.

“Mobile-based moneylenders are offering credit to Kenyans more conveniently without any requirements such as membership, paperwork and security, which are commonly required by a Sacco,” Ismail said.

Speaking at the same event, Co-op Bank director, co-operatives division, Vincent Marangu, said Saccos countrywide face several institutional challenges, which need to be addressed to help them achieve their goals.

He said the national co-operatives workshop is held annually where chief executive officers from the country’s cooperative movement deliberate on  important issues concerning the industry.