State  Minister for Microfinance, Haruna Kasolo. (COURTESY PHOTO)

MASAKA | RedPepper Digital – Beneficiaries of the Presidential Initiative on Wealth and Job Creation Emyooga have mobilized over UGX40 billion shillings in savings over the past one year of the program, government has said.

Addressing journalists in Masaka on Tuesday, the State  Minister for Microfinance, Haruna Kasolo said whereas government has injected over shs231 billion as seed capital into the program, beneficiaries have been able to save shs40 billion.

“Every category was supposed to form a sacco at constituency level having formed an association at the parish. Government supported every sacco with shs30 million and the local leaders sacco got shs50 million. We have been encouraging beneficiaries to embrace saving culture. I have made it possible that people own this program and the Ugx30 million seed capital be used to grow and accumulate,” Kasolo said.

“We have disbursed shs231 billion  courtesy of this program and we have registered  savings worth  shs40.4billion. This is something should be appreciated. People have started to embrace saving culture. If we hadnt started this program and encourage people to save,  we wouldn’t have this amount. ”

One of the key prerequisites for any member to borrow from Emyooga Saccos is regular and consistent saving.

Cognizant of this fact, the Microfinance Support Centre  which is  lead implementing government agency for the program  prioritized mind set change during the pre-disbursement trainings as well as monitoring and capacity building activities, to instill a culture of saving among the population to enable them fully benefit from the program.

According to Minister Kasolo, going by the available statistics on savings across the board, this gospel is slowly but steadily taking root among the population.

During a monitoring tour to assess progress of Emyooga program in greater Masaka,  Kasolo Kyeyune cautioned beneficiaries no desist from lending to irregular members, even when they raise the required amounts.

This he said shall boost Sacco savings, benefit the right people, as well as safeguard the fund to attain its intended purpose.

The minister  described Emyooga as a great avenue to cheap credit for all Ugandans organized in the different enterprise categories.

Kasolo noted that  Emyooga is part of the bigger government strategy to relieve the country of the growing debt burden.

He explained that this can be achieved  through transforming communities from subsistence to commercial production which in turn, progressively, widens the local tax base.

To-date, the Microfinance Support Centre has disbursed shs231 billion  to 6591 Emyooga Sacos countrywide.

Of these, 6396 have received their certificates of registration from the Ministry of Trade, while the remain few are under process, with support from the Microfinance Support Centre.

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