Authorities in Nebbi Municipality are grappling with the disappearance of over sh540 million allocated under the Emyooga program. This presidential initiative, aimed at job and wealth creation, has encountered setbacks with at least 14 SACCOs vanishing without a trace. Local leaders note that members of these SACCOs have ceased operations after borrowing funds that remain unpaid.
Moreover, several SACCOs have halted their activities, with many yet to undergo audits. Geoffrey Ngirkeri, the Nebbi municipal Mayor, discloses that out of the 18 Emyooga SACCOs initially funded by the government, only 4 have received additional financial support. Ngirkeri underscores plans to rejuvenate the defunct SACCOs to facilitate fund recovery.
Kizito Mungujakisa, a member of the Nebbi Municipality Bodaboda Emyooga SACCO, attributes the program’s underperformance to collusion among top SACCO executives. He urges the government to reconsider the stringent terms for accessing funds, which have deterred many members from participation.
Richard Oyiwroth, the chairperson of the Nebbi Municipal Business Community Association, points out the challenge of short loan repayment periods, making it difficult for members to settle their debts. He advocates for SACCOs, with assistance from the Microfinance Support Center, to extend loan repayment durations under the Emyooga program.
Launched in August 2019, the Emyooga program aims to transition 68% of households from subsistence to market-oriented production, focusing on job creation and income enhancement. It encompasses 18 enterprises per constituency, targeting financially marginalized individuals involved in diverse specialized sectors, including taxi operators, fishermen, journalists, veterans, boda bodas, women entrepreneurs, welders, performing artists, and elected leaders.