GULU- The State Minister of Microfinance, Mr Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo has asked owners of small scale enterprises to shun loans from commercial banks which he says only lead to the collapse of most businesses.
"You shouldn't go to banks to access high interest loans. You have your bank; an institution that has been set up by the government to support you because you don't have the collaterals and security to access those expensive loans," Mr Kasolo said.
He said that such business owners should resort to loans being offered the Microfinance Support Centre (MSC).
He was early this week speaking during the launch of Presidential Initiative on Wealth Creation and Job Creation (EMYOOOGA) at Bomah Hotel in Gulu Municipality.
He said that the government is rectifying challenges affecting the effective operation of MSC in order to benefit small scale enterprises across the country.
"We have commercial officers at district level who should mobilise people into groups and link these groups to access financial cheaply through MSC," he said.
Mr Kasolo warned leaders in Acholi Sub region against politicising government programmes saying it's frustrating the core objectives of the initiatives.
"This programme shouldn't be politicised. It is not partisan. I am from NRM but when it comes to issues of development, we are together. I was sent by the president of this country not the chairman of NRM and this is a presidential initiative not an NRM initiative," he said.
He said that poverty has no political party, colour and its non-partisan.
“We must join hands to fight the vice irrespective of our political differences. We have had so many interventions against poverty in this region but poverty is only deepening," he said.
Amuru District Woman Member of Parliament, Ms Lucy Akello accused NRM leaders of failing to differentiate between party and government initiatives that are meant to benefit citizens.
"For as long as you [NRM] can’t differentiate the two, then no programme will make an impact in this country. Let’s think beyond our party when it comes developmental issues for the betterment of our citizens," Ms Akello said.
The Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Mr Hillary Onek urged the leaders to supervise SACCOs in their area to promote job creation and improve household incomes.
"Infrastructural development have been put in place but what is lacking is money in the pockets. Acholi sub region is ranked as one of the poorest regions in Uganda something that should bother us all. If you are poor, the good road won't help you. You can't sleep on it," Mr Onek said.
The initiative targets various enterprises including SACCO’s for Bodabodas, women entrepreneurs, salon operators, taxi operators, welders, restaurant owners, market vendors, mechanics, produce dealers, persons with disabilities, youth leaders, fishermen, tailors, professionals, among other groups.
The initiative is part of the broader government principle of socio-economic transformation in which the government is committed to converting 68% of the Country’s population from subsistence to market-oriented production
The SACCO’s for each category will be organised at the district level but with operations at the parish level. Membership to the SACCO shall be limited to a minimum of 30 members. These SACCO's can access initial funds to the tune of UGX30 million.