Best Rock Savings and Cooperatives Society Limited holds 8th annual general meeting

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BEST ROCK SACCO Wednesday, May 2019

By Boniface Mulu

The chairman of the Kitui-based Best Rock Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited, Francis Muli Kithae, has announced that the society’s share capital continues to increase as the society gets stronger.

He added that the board will consider offering higher dividends for the share capital in future to encourage members to save more on shares which forms the society’s capital base.

And he added that the amended bylaws require that members increase their minimum contribution from 5,000 shillings to 10,000 shillings.

Kithae was speaking to thousands of the Best Rock Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited members during their society’s 8thannual general meeting held at the Kitui Agricultural Training Centre on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 where Kitui Central Assistant County Commissioner Mohammed Abdi was the chief guest representing Kitui County Commissioner Seif Matata at the function.

“We will continue to loan you the money if qualify and trice a month,” Kithae told members. The chairman announced that the society was registered as the Kitui Biashara Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited in 1999 covering the then larger Kitui District but later rebranded and changed its name to the Best Rock Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited on February 20, 2013 with an expanded area covering the lower eastern Kenya region.

The lower eastern Kenya region comprises Kitui, Machakos and Makueni Counties. “The society caters for savings and credit needs of business people, salaried employees, hawkers, jua kali artisans and small and medium entrepreneurs,” Kithae said. He announced that by December 2018, the society’s membership stood at 3,662 members.

He said the growth on the membership has grown steadily in the last three years where the members were 2,503 in 2016, 3,152 in 2017 and 3,662 in 2018. “In percentage, the growth was 22.3 per cent, 25.9 per cent and 16.2 per cent,” Kithae added. And he further said that the member recruitment growth dropped by 10 per cent during the year under review.

“The recruitment of new members is a collective responsibility for all of us and it is easily done through referrals by existing members whose testimony as the society products and services beneficiaries is quite appealing to would-be members,” the cooperator said.

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“If each one of the registered members brings on board one new member we will straight away double our membership within no and our financial resources will increase tremendously,” Kithae further said. To actualise this, we appeal to the members to use a tag line (one member for every member), he added.

The chairman announced that the board through the marketing department has devised a strategy to upscale membership growth through formation of likeminded group members who will be given loans to improve their economic status as corporate members or group lending members.

Kithae announced that the society’s share capital growth was 13,201,785 shillings in 2016, 15,505,568 shillings in 2017 and 16,657,469 shillings in 2018. And he added that the revised minimum shareholding will no doubt improve the society’s capital base.

“The current strategic plan requires that we grow our share capital by 35 per cent annually, a target which we have never hit. We are therefore proposing to conduct a share drive this year in order to realise ratios to more comfortable position as we gear towards acquiring Front Office Savings Activity (FOSA) status,” Kithae said.

He further said the increased share capital will give the required financial muscle to increase income generating streams which will consequently improve the return on investment.

According to him, the member deposits grew over the last three years where they (the deposits) were 65,728,478 shillings in 2016 and 79,245,059 shillings in 2017 and 93,740,403 shillings in 2018. “The deposits growth in percentage was 45.2 per cent, 20 per cent and 18.29 per cent respectively,” the society leader added.

He said the growth in member deposits went down from 20 per cent to 18.29 per cent this financial year. “This negative trend will be reversed this year because our proposal to increase minimum monthly contribution from 5,000 shillings to 1,000 shillings has been approved.

In addition, the members are requested to save more in order to improve our liquidity and give loans as they come,” Kithae added. He also announced that the society is going to open a desk at the Mutomo market in Mutomo District within Kitui County, then a satellite office at the market before opening a fully-fledged branch there.

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And he also added that they are also going to open a desk at the Sombe market in Mutitu District within the county soon. The society has a branch in Mwingi Town in Mwingi Central District (the Mwingi Branch). “The minimum requirement for opening a branch is 700 members, 12 million shillings in deposits and a 25 million shillings loan portfolio,” the cooperator added.

In our operations we are guided by our 2016-2020 strategic plan which is a road map through which we are supposed to actualise our vision and mission, Kithae said. “The net surplus increased to 3,212,957 shillings up from 2,081,963 shillings last year, an increase of 1,130,994 shillings.

This translates to an impressive performance of 54.3 per cent,” he added. Kithae announced that the management recommends payment of dividends of 1,352,253.17 shillings (7.5 per cent) per share. And he added that they had 876,246 shillings (5 percent per share) in 2017.

“We do recommend interest on members deposits of 2,812,212.09 shillings (3 percent) deposits,” he said, adding that the deposits in 2017 were 2,377,352 shillings (3 percent).

The chairman also announced that their income this year rose to 17,281,382 shillings up from 13,264,334 shillings, an increase of 4,017,048 shillings which translates to30.28 percent.

The cooperator said that the education and training for the members by the societies is one of the most important principles of the cooperatives as he talked about the education and training for their society’s members by the society.

“The loan default is the biggest challenge of our society which has denied us graduation to the FOSA,” Kite said. And he announced that the society has instituted elaborative loan recovery measures that he said include proper loan appraisals which are based on business visits, character, and ability to pay.

In his speech, the chairman of the Nanyuki Boda Boda Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited in Nanyuki, Laikipia County, Patrick Waithaka, disclosed that their society started in 2011 with some 40 members. “And currently we are 700 members,” he added.

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Waithaka also disclosed that they (the society) had already built a total of 60 housing units for the members in Nanyuki Town. “And the second phase for the construction of the society’s more housing units starts by June 2019,” the motorbike tax operators leader added. And on his part, the chief guest Mohammed Abdi highly congratulated the founders and pioneers of the Best Rock Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited.

And he urged the society’s members to be taking a lead in whatever they do. “I would like to challenge and urge you to be taking a lead in whatever you do,” he said. As an office, I assure you of our support to you, he further told them.

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Kitui County Chairman Duncan Kisilu Singi, who also addressed the function, talked about the importance of faithfulness in the societies.

In his speech, Kitui West District Cooperatives Officer, Joseph Mutemi, thanked the management and members of the Best Rock Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited “for the development you have done as a society.” Mutemi said that if the society members need so much development they have to cooperate with their (Mutemi) office.

“You can’t achieve any development without cooperating with our office. Our office is open. Come to our office anytime,” the officer said. He asked the cooperatives to comply with what the law says. Mutemi asked the society leaders to conduct education for the members every year for the benefits of them (the members). The function was also addressed by the outgoing Best Rock Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited Chief Executive Officer Leonard Juma Syengo among others. During the function, the society awarded the best members and the staff members.

Duncan Kisilu Singi was awarded for being the society’s highest depositor and the highest borrower and the highest shareholder. And Ruth Mulang’ a was awarded as the society’s long-serving staff, Danson Gitau Kuria as the society’s highest youth depositor, while Stephen Kimanzi Mutia was awarded as the society’s highest youth borrower.

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