Resilient Sacco defies odds in a challenging year to register remarkable growth
By George Gichuki
NewFortis Savings and Credit Co-operative Society successfully held its 45th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in January at the grounds of Nyamachaki Primary School in Nyeri town. The tier one sacco was established in 1976 by a group of 857 teachers drawn from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. The fast growing financial institution rebranded in 2015 and subsequently opened its common bond to civil servants, members of other professions and the business community. Before rebranding, it was known as Nyeri Teachers Sacco. Fortis in Latin means strong. It is therefore an apt name for NewFortis Sacco, given its strong corporate governance, financial performance and stability over the years.
As a mark of its strength, NewFortis has an asset base of over Kshs. 8 billion. It offers front office service activity ( FOSA) through which members operate savings and fixed accounts , besides accessing other services and products, just like in commercial banking. With its headquarters in Nyeri, NewFortis also has branches in Karatina, Othaya, Nairobi and Nanyuki. Its latest branch in Nanyuki serves over two thousand members in Laikipia County and its environs who would previously travel to Nyeri in order to be served.
NewFortis Sacco’s vision is to be a leading financial institution in providing efficient and competitive products in Kenya and abroad. By the same token, its mission is to enhance customers’ confidence and sustain their economic development through prudent management and innovation at competitive rates to attain their objectives and aspirations.
SUCCESSFUL 45TH AGM
The guest of honour during NewFortis 45th AGM was the Governor of Nyeri County, His Excellency Mutahi Kahiga who is also an old member of the sacco. The Governor encouraged his former colleagues to apply for the county government tenders, and get financed by NewFortis in order to deliver them on time. “I am very happy with the board of management led by your able Chairman, Mr. John Githinji and his competent Chief Executive Officer, Mr. John Mathinji,” said Governor Kahiga during his speech.
True to its tradition, NewFortis Sacco registered exemplary results in the 2020 financial year. To start with, its membership grew from 14,840 to 15,758. In addition, the dividends and interest grew from Kshs. 595,542,319 to Kshs. 662,885,132. In the same vein, its share capital grew from Kshs. 109,139,002 to Kshs. 117,905,907. Finally, the sacco’s loan book grew from Kshs. 5,566,883,782 to Kshs.5,863,446,194. Notably, NewFortis was able to register the outstanding performance despite the challenging operating environment in 2020, which was occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Responsible corporate citizen
Over the years, NewFortis Sacco has bought over 1,000 acres of land for its members and facilitated them to acquire title deeds. To that end in 2020, the sacco assisted three hundred farmers to buy land in Mweiga.
Currently, it has partnered with the Nyeri County government and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector, in order to support dairy and crop farming among the residents of Nyeri. By getting higher yields in their agribusiness ventures, these farmers are able to generate more income and their standard of living improves.
In line with the market trends, NewFortis Sacco has continued to embrace the cashless business regime. Consequently, it has invested heavily in an information communication technology (ICT) platform branded T24. While delivering his speech during the 45th AGM, the Chairman, Mr. John Githinji said:“T24 system is not only an effective service provider, but it is also able to cope with our customers’ demands, as we are closely embracing a cashless business regime. He added:“We continue to leverage high technological inventions in order to meet and exceed the members’ expectations.”
Through its versatile mobile banking platform that is branded Fortis Cash, members can withdraw and deposit money in their accounts, besides checking their balances and borrowing, among other critical functions. They do so by dialing USSD code *426# on their mobile devices.
During the 45TH AGM, NewFortis Sacco officially launched its Verve debit card in line with its digitization agenda. The innovative product will enable the members to conveniently access various services that are offered by the leading sacco.
With a strong leadership and management team, loyal members and unique products, NewFortis Sacco is destined for a great future, not withstanding the cut throat competition in Kenya’s sacco sub sector.