Plans to reinstall the Uganda cooperative bank are in high gear, with the latest being the Minister for Cooperatives demanding a liquidation report from Bank of Uganda about the proceeds from the closure of the original bank in 1999.
According to the State Minister for Cooperatives, Frederick Ngobi Guma, the report will help the cooperatives to understand what went wrong in the past as well as help in making the new bank a success.
“The president of Uganda, H.E Yoweri Museveni has accepted to help farmers restart their cooperative bank. What is remaining are the cooperatives to organize themselves. However, we want to avoid making the same mistakes that were made years bank hence the need to get the liquidation report,” Ngobi said.
He added: “I have written to the Governor BOU and by next week, officials from the bank have promised to meet us and provide the report. After that, it will be up to the Uganda cooperative alliance to quicken preparations for the commencement of the bank.”
The Minister noted that the current sources of finances like banks and other loan offers which are given at high interest rates cannot help farmers, because agriculture is a long term business that cannot make maximum profits in a short term.
“So far we have over 7 million farmers who are in cooperatives. These farmers need a bank that can not only offer them low interest loans, but also give them financial and market oriented advice that they can use to modernise agriculture as a step towards achieving a middle income status,” Ngobi said.
He, however, noted that this kind of bank needed good planning and cooperation from the leaders of cooperatives.
“I ask you to concentrate on eliminating conflicts in co-operations. Work towards building harmony and solidarity especially with the ministry because the success of your cooperatives will depend on working together.”
The Minister relayed the message during the 50th general meeting for Uganda Cooperative Alliance (UCA) that took place today at Grand Imperial Hotel in Kampala.
The secretary general of UCA, Ivan Asiimwe noted that the cooperation has embarked on publicising the cooperation to make it known to the general public.
“For years, cooperatives have not been real active but we are now ready to make then new and active again. We want cooperatives to be at the forefront of fighting poverty in Uganda,” Asiimwe said.