Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Anita Annet Among has pledged her support towards the harmonisation of laws governing operations of Saving and Credit Cooperative Organisations (SACCOs).
She was responding to a concern raised by the Board Chairperson of the Parliamentary SACCO, Hon. Robert Migadde during the organisation’s Annual General Meeting on Friday, 03 February 2023.
Migadde pointed out that operations of SACCOs are affected by multiple supervision by the Ministry of Trade, Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority (UMRA) and the Central Bank.
“The Cooperative Societies Act places SACCOs under the management of Ministry of Trade while the tier 4 Microfinance and Moneylenders Act places big SACCOs under the management of the Bank of Uganda. On the other hand, all SACCOs are under the Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority,” he said.
Migadde said that the Parliamentary SACCO would seek guidance and leadership from lawmakers on harmonising regulation of the savings Organisations to ease operations.
Among tasked Migadde to consider introducing a Private Member’s Bill to cure the challenge of multiple supervision of SACCOs.
“We understand that work of the SACCOs is stifled by operating under the supervision of varying entities who may have their own agendas and demands,” she said.
Among added, “We do not want our SACCOs to be conflicted regarding who they report to”.
She also applauded the Parliamentary SACCO management for ensuring easy and timely accessibility of savings to members.
“Every time I have attempted to access money, it has been a cinch, only taking me under an hour to receive the money,” she said.
Among urged Members of Parliament who had not yet joined the SACCO to join, saying that this would enable them enjoy the favourable financial services the savings organisation offers.
The Parliamentary SACCO reported an increase in gross revenue by 15 per cent, from Shs4.77 billion in 2021 to Shs5.48 billion in 2022.
It was further reported that total assets have grown by 53 per cent from Shs30.9 billion to Shs47.3 billion, whilst members’ earnings increased from Shs2.71 billion to Shs7.7 billion.
According to section 36 of the Microfinance Institutions and Money Lenders Act, 2016, a SACCO shall not conduct the business of financial services unless it’s licensed under this Act. UMRA commenced the licensing of SACCOs in 2021. However, some SACCOs continue to operate in contravention under this Act.
Parliament of Uganda