Leading Sacco’s asset base hits the ten billion mark as it embarks on an aggressive marketing campaign to win more members
By George Gichuki
As early as eight in the morning, large numbers of Mentor Sacco members started entering Mumbi Grounds in Murang’a town, ready for the 45th Annual General Meeting (AGM). Before registering, their temperatures were checked and they provided evidence that they had received the Covid-19 vaccination. The guidelines provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health in order to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic were strictly adhered to. After registering, every member got a gift pack with a calendar, branded cap and biro pen. They then took seats under huge tents, ready for the AGM.
By the start of the AGM at ten, almost all the seats had been taken by the members who were eager to follow its proceedings. Having amended the relevant by-law in 2021 in line with the Covid-19 guidelines and protocols, the well-attended meeting was hybrid (both virtual and physical).
While giving his report, the Chairman, Mr. Anthony Kamau, observed that despite 2021 being a challenging year, Mentor Sacco remained focused on one of its key objectives : ”To promote the economic interests and general welfare of members in accordance with co-operative principles.’’ Underpinning these principles is that members pool resources from which they borrow at very friendly terms in order to engage in economic activities that ultimately transform their socio-economic status.
True to its tradition over the last decade, Mentor Sacco grew significantly in 2021. To start with, its total assets grew from Kshs. 8.91 billion in 2020 to over Kshs. 10.4 billion in 2021. In same breath, the total income grew from Kshs. 1.184 billion in 2020 to Kshs.1.315 billion in 2021. Additionally, the Sacco’s membership grew from 24,356 in 2020 to 28,032 in 2021. Moreover, its total deposits and share capital grew from Kshs. 863.5 million in 2020 to Kshs. 1.13 billion in 2021. “The increased investments by members imply confidence in the Sacco’s financial stability,” said Mr. Kamau.
Against this background, the members were paid a dividend of 15% on share capital and 12.1% interest on all other non-withdrawable deposits.
Mr. Kamau further reported that in line with market trends, Mentor Sacco has continued to embrace technology in its service delivery and product development. “In 2021, Kshs. 1.87 billion was deposited, Kshs. 4.68 billion withdrawn and Kshs. 33.55 million borrowed via quick fix loan,” he said.
Due to the heavy use of the mobile banking platform by the members, the Sacco is planning to invest in its own Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), commonly referred to as quick codes.
Need to borrow more
The guest of honour during the 45th AGM was Mrs. Josephine Mwangi, the County Director of Co-operatives in Murang’a. In her keynote speech, Mrs. Mwangi emphasized on the need of Mentor Sacco to stay focused on its core business – mobilizing savings and advancing credit to the members. Additionally, she cautioned members not to guarantee loans for people they are not acquainted with. “It is not advisable to guarantee a loan for someone you have met for the first time in the Sacco banking hall,” she emphasized.
Mrs. Mwangi also advised the members to borrow regularly from their Sacco so as to uplift their socio-economic status. “We learn from financial experts that we can only make big investments by making use of other people’s money – that is the beauty of applying for loans,” she said. Members of Mentor Sacco for instance are able to access loans up to three or four times their unwithdrawable deposits. By borrowing, members also enable their Sacco to generate more revenue, which they in turn share as dividends at the end of every financial year.