It’s my pleasure to brief you about the progress and future plans of Butuuro SACCO. Butuuro’s trend of excellent performance and success has been on rise since her in inception in 2007. As I talk, allow me to remind you that Butuuro People’s SACCO is a community based young SACCO in the region that has been growing steadily and positively impactful to her clients. “what a joy it is to find just the right words for the night occasion” (Proverb 15: 23)”
As mentioned above, Butuuro People’s SACCO, started in 2007 as a community based SACCO with the mission of providing members with quality products and services for sustainable development.
To say the list, Butuuro has delivered on her mission; just a few days back, on November 15th, 2021, we celebrated her 14th birthday. Butuuro’s approach to the mission has been and is, provision of financial services to members. Unfortunately but perhaps inevitably, this has not been in tandem with the Universal Economic growth of the ordinary man and woman.
The years 2019-2020 saw some stakeholders floating an idea of transiting from a member based savings and Credit Cooperative society Ltd to a Microfinance Deposit taking institution (MDI), with a purpose of providing better social and financial solutions to the general public in the region and the country at large. This was as the result of the lessons learnt from member commitment and loyalty study, that people are comfortable transacting financial business with a financial institution where consumer protection is enhanced by regulation of financial institutions by bank of Uganda (BOU).
In response to the above school of thought, the board of directors presented the idea to the 12th AGM. The AGM adopted the idea and mandated the SACCO leadership to study it in detail. The Board appointed an 8 member (MDI) transitional committee which I chair, to spearhead the transition process.
A microfinance Deposit taking institution (MDI) is a licensed company transacting in Microfinance business. It is allowed to take deposits from the public and loan out the money to people who accept its responsibility. It is regulated by bank of Uganda (BOU) and does conventional banking with a goal of providing financial solutions to people who want to invest for sustainable development and enhancing financial deepening in the region.
The MDI transitional committee conducted a number of studies and benchmarks with Bank of Uganda (BOU) and a number of other institutions. The studies conducted ranged from transitional requirements, benefits and the current financial sector performance in the country
Based on the studies made, and in tandem with the BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL developed by the SACCO leadership which states, “A sustained fifty Billion Uganda shillings total asset microfinance Institution by 2030, providing affordable products and services”. During the studies, it was established that the Majority of the population in Uganda lack access to financed services from formal financial institution (FIS). And Uganda’s formal sector is still one of the smallest and least developed. The study conducted in 2007 (Steadman group) it is estimated that only 18% of the Uganda population has access to formal sectors financial institutions. For example the TIER 3 financial institutions are only three in Uganda namely Finance Uganda Ltd, Pride Microfinance Ltd and Uganda finance Trust Ltd. This picture does not augur well for financial deepening in our country. The committee further established that people desire and are more comfortable transacting financial business with an institution where consumer protection is guaranteed through enhanced regulation of financial institutions by bank of Uganda with a proven and tested appropriate policy and regulatory frame work.
For strategic positioning, the MDI transitional committee recommends that it’s high time our SACCO prepared to transit to an MDI for proper and assured monitoring and corporate governance. Ideally transitioning is the right path to the top as it awaits AGM ratification in the next AGM. The expected benefits are enormous ranging from improved monitoring, regulation and consumers protection by the regulatory body (BOU), streamlined processes i.e administration, management and policies, enhanced borrowing with reduced risk, better competitive rates and trust from intending investors and funders to mention a few without forgetting forecasted profit and corporate recognition that comes to the institution.
Generally, transition to an MDI will create and improve financial deepening that will lead to increased financial assets by economic agents and increased provision of financial services geared to all levels of society as opposed to the SACCO that empowers her members only. Operating an MDI is expected to reduce risk and vulnerability for disadvantaged groups and increasing ability of individuals and households to engage in enterprise partnerships that replace poverty with prosperity and dependence with self-reliance
However the structures which enable these ideas do not just rain upon us like rain from the sky, Rather they culminate from commitment, sweat and toil, in addition to upholding high corporate values of integrity, transparency and accountability, encored in ethical and operational codes of conduct and best practices. Instilling these behavioral norms demands sacrifice in training for capacity building, skills development, exposure, monitoring and experience gathering.