Newfortis Sacco will pay out a total of Shs. 370 million being dividend and interest for the year 2016, The Sacco Times magazine can now reveal.
The Sacco’s Chairman, Mr. John Githinji, during the 41st Annual General Meeting held at Nyamachaki PCEA hall in Nyeri town, Nyeri County, said the amount translated to a 12.5 per cent interest and 13 per cent dividend. This was also an improvement compared to last year’s pay out of Sh. 310 million.
The Sacco also recorded a growth in membership from 10,314 members in 2015 to 11,930 in 2016; non-withdrawable deposits grew from Sh2.5 billion in 2015 to 2.9 billion in 2016.
Outstanding loans rose from Sh. 3.2 billion to 3.7 billion while share capital grew from Sh. 69 million to 79 million during the same period. The chairman attributed the growth to innovation and diversification.
“Innovation and diversification has enabled Newfortis Sacco to sustain vibrant growth which has engaged members’ interest to remain relevant in this ever evolving global and economic dynamism,” said the Chairman.
Mr. Githinji cited preferential membership as the product that has continuously helped members to improve their non-withdrawable deposits and called on them to rethink and embrace the noble venture as a way of developing a saving culture.
He further said the current trends in the cooperative sector demands that Saccos embrace innovation through Information Communication Technology (ICT) and creativity so as to compete favourably with other financial service providers.
“The Sacco was making it convenient for members to conduct business by streamlining processes and increasing efficiency through deep integration of ICT systems. During the last quarter, we rolled out a new and robust mobile platform which has enabled our members to transact their accounts conveniently,” he stated.
Mobile phone banking, he observed, will become the preferred delivery channel for the millennial generation and for the foreseeable future generations.
“Future growth in this industry will depend on the extent by which financial institutions are willing to put in the infrastructure to support the personalization of their mobile
platform. The Sacco will continue to ensure value addition for all services to its members,” he pledged.
To help address the problem of unemployment and underemployment, the chairman said the Sacco has embarked on recruitment of members’ spouses and dependents for mentorship.
This is because these groups consistently face constraints in accessing funding for any level of business ventures especially due to lack of security and credibility on debt financing.
This he said will encourage the young people to become job creators through entrepreneurship. “This will improve livelihoods and can be a source of new job opportunities,” he stressed. He noted that young people also have limited business experiences and skills and find it difficult to enjoy any start up from financial institutions due to procedures.
To minimize defaulting rate, the Chairman announced that the financial institution was collaborating with other institutions to enable it restrict over-commitments and defaultation which in turn minimize losses.
“Information sharing by breaking out of your institutional four walls and working together with other financial institutions or cross institutional collaboration creates an opportunity to gain wealth of important information which mitigates the risk of overburdening members through migration borrowing,” he said.
The Sacco, he announced, has also registered with the Credit Reference Bureau. He however cited challenges facing the Sacco industry as technological innovation and competition from other financial institutions but noted that they were trying to overcome it by putting in place high-level software for efficient and prompt service.
“The cost of putting up and maintaining branches is quite overwhelming and Newfortis is looking for ways and means to take services closer to its members at a minimal cost,” he claimed.
The supervisory committee Chairman, Mr. Charles Wahome, said rebranding of the Sacco enabled the financial institution to reach new potential customers. He said it also offered the Sacco a new stimulus to create new growth and attract clients from different parts of Kenya.
“This has proven to give Newfortis Sacco a new voice and look, which is to establish the Sacco as an industry which appeals to clients,” he stated. Newfortis Sacco formely Nyeri Teachers Sacco rebranded towards the end of 2015.
It now has three branches after opening a new branch in Othaya Town. The other two branches are in Karatina and the headquarters in Nyeri Town.
The Sacco’s adoption of ICT, he said, will ensure that members from all over the country access its services and products remotely in this age of technology. Following the rebranding, Newfortis Sacco opened doors for members to introduce their kins and encourage them to save and enjoy the membership benefits.