Beneficiaries of the Presidential Initiative on Wealth and Job Creation Emyooga in Rakai district have mobilized shs606 million in savings over the past one year of the program in their area.
According to the financial report released by the Microfinance Support Centre as part of a monitoring meeting for Emyooga program organized by the State Minister for Microfinance, Haruna Kasolo, a total of 35 Emyooga saccos were formed with 18 of these in Buyamba constituency and 17 in Kooki constituency.
The two constituencies consequently received shs1.07billion as seed capital from government and have so far disbursed shs1.274 billion to members in form of loans whereas members have been able to raise shs606 million in form of savings.
The program has attracted 12713 individuals to take part in saving and borrowing as part of the concept of Emyooga.
Speaking on Tuesday, Minister Haruna Kasolo hailed the locals for embracing the Emyooga program in Rakai however warned against defaulting on loans.
“I have seen the recovery is still 30% and not yet 40%. The grace period is over and those that took the money, it is high time you returned it. I am giving you three weeks to have this money returned. When you don’t, I will put you behind bars. This is not for jokes,” Kasolo warned.
The minister warned that Emyooga money is not meant to reward NRM mobilisers for the good job they have done over the years.
He insisted that government will not turn a blind eye on anyone who defaults on repaying the loan.
“We are going to put you behind bar and you will get embarrassed. This program is not for playing around and has helped us a lot. The way it was structured helps us save some money. If you want to get rich, there is no other way aside from saving. Even when you are a thief and you do not save, you will die stealing. Save part of each money you get and use it to do something developmental,” Kasolo urged.
According to Kasolo, the shs30 million given to each sacco as seed capital is not for government but for sacco members to borrow and return for other members to borrow.
The district chairperson, Samuel Kaggwa Sekamwa asked the saccos to have stringent measures on members they give loans to ensure they repay back promptly so as many other members can also benefit.
The Emyooga program is being implemented by the Microfinance Support Centre.