Nebbi, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Authorities in Nebbi Municipality are facing challenges in recouping over sh540 million disbursed under the Emyooga program, a presidential initiative aimed at job and wealth creation, following the disappearance of at least 14 SACCOs without a trace. Local leaders report that the members of the affected SACCOs have disbanded work after taking loans that remain unpaid.
Additionally, some SACCOs have ceased operations, and many have not undergone audits. Geoffrey Ngirkeri, the Nebbi municipal Mayor, reveals that out of the 18 Emyooga SACCOs that received initial funding from the government, only 4 have received additional funds. Ngirkeri emphasizes plans to revitalize the disbanded SACCOs to ensure fund recovery.
Kizito Mungujakisa, a member of the Nebbi Municipality Bodaboda Emyooga SACCO, attributes the program’s poor performance to collusion among top SACCO executives. He appeals to the government to review the stringent terms for accessing funds, which have discouraged many members.
Richard Oyiwroth, the chairperson of the Nebbi Municipal Business Community Association, highlights the challenge of short loan repayment periods, making it hard for members to repay loans. He calls for SACCOs, with support from the Microfinance Support Center, to extend loan repayment periods under the Emyooga program.
Launched in August 2019, the Emyooga program aims to transition 68% of households from subsistence to market-oriented production, with a focus on job creation and income improvement.
The program covers 18 enterprises per constituency, targeting financially excluded individuals engaged in various specialized enterprises, including taxi operators, fishermen, journalists, veterans, boda bodas, women entrepreneurs, welders, performing artists, and elected leaders.