The Nyandarua County Government has signed an agreement with a local sacco to help women, youth, and persons living with disability to access cheap loans to help them executive contracts awarded them by the county government.
All they require to access funding from Tower Sacco are legal documents as proof that they have won a tender or contract with the county government. They will then use the papers as part of collateral to access up to 60 per cent financing from the sacco.
The county has, on its part, committed to assist targeted beneficiaries get company registration certificates qualifying them to apply and compete for the tenders.
“It’s a two-year agreement on trial. We seek to support and empower the interest population by minimising funding requirements, training them on fiscal discipline and management skills. The programme is picking very well and we have an encouraging number who visit our branches," said Tower Sacco chief executive Gabriel Njihia.
"We are treating each case on its own merit,” said the CEO without revealing how much has been set aside for the initiative.
A special team from Tower Sacco has been appointed to handle the programme.
"Besides training and monitoring the groups' progress, the team also expects clients to fully exploit their potential as well as identify and explore other investment opportunities, guiding them to thinking bigger and out of the box," said Mr Njihia.
Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia said half of the newly-registered companies are to be considered in the award of county contracts and tenders this financial year, with qualifying groups to be placed under the County-Tower Sacco financing and mentorship programme.
“All county departments are under strict instructions to give priority to the target groups when awarding contracts. Our target is to have a minimum of 100 such groups registered as companies and doing business with the county government, that was the reason behind having devolved governments,” said the governor.
The project is part of Tower Sacco initiative to boost the devolved unit’s bid to realise the elusive two-thirds gender rule and other aspects of the Affirmative Action.
The agreement is a relief to the special interest groups, who have for decades missed the opportunity to trade with both the national and county governments for lack of capital and sureties.
With the partnership, women, youth and disabled persons are expected to be motivated to tender for the county jobs that include contracts and tenders to supply goods and services to Nyandaraua County government.
It has already led to registration of 30 groups into companies, with ten out of the twenty already trading with the county government and placed under the County-Tower Sacco financing and mentorship programme.