Trans Nzoia County, through its Department of Trade and Industrialization, is set to economically empower its residents via the county’s NAWIRI fund program.
The Trade Chief Officer, Kennedy Etiang, announced during a NAWIRI fund sensitization meeting in Kapsitwet Kapomboi ward that Governor George Natembeya has earmarked 100 million shillings for the NAWIRI fund. The aim is to bolster local businesses and entrepreneurs.
Etiang revealed that over 1,000 groups applied for the funds, and after a thorough vetting process, 817 groups qualified. These groups, spread across the county, will receive an average of 10,000 to 30,000 shillings each.
“After lengthy deliberations with the Governor, we decided to award NAWIRI fund loans to these groups instead of giving out loans of 30,000 shillings to groups of 30 members,” Etiang explained. “Based on the strength of their groups, we will award them tenders. After they complete the work, we will pay them, recoup our money, and the groups will keep the balance as profit.”
Out of the 817 qualified groups, the county has selected 10 groups in each of the 25 wards who will be awarded loans and tenders. Etiang added that more than 250 groups are expected to benefit from the program in its first phase.
The NAWIRI fund loans will be accessible and friendly, requiring groups to pay back the loans with a minimal interest of 3%. Etiang further clarified that after the awarding of the tender, the groups are expected to execute the work. Upon completion, they will be paid their money, and the county will reclaim the loan and the 3% interest. The remainder of the amount will stay with the groups for empowerment.
The Department of Trade, in partnership with Equity Bank, is currently conducting sensitization meetings in all 25 wards. These meetings are for the groups that qualified to receive the loans in the first phase of the program. The meetings cover financial management, government tendering processes, access to government procurement opportunities, and other financial requirements for the groups to secure the loans and tenders.
Etiang urged the members of the groups to ensure that their groups adhere to all the fund’s requirements. After the training meeting, Governor George Natembeya will launch the funds and roll out the program for the beneficiaries.
Etiang also cautioned the members of the groups against non-compliance with financial discipline. He noted that some groups were previously given funds, but due to a lack of proper guidance on repayment, the government has been unable to recover the money.
The Chief Officer assured that the department has put in place proper laws and guidelines on the issuance and repayment of the funds. He added that because it is a revolving fund, it is designed to ensure that many people benefit from it.
Etiang emphasized that the fund aims to empower locals by ensuring that devolution is felt at the grassroots level. With the funds revolving at the ward and village levels, many people will be economically empowered.
“I want to inform you, as the Chief Officer of Trade, that Governor George Natembeya’s administration will never advertise any tender without funds. All the advertised tenders will have funds, and after the completion of the project, all the contractors will be paid in full. So, never be discouraged by what happened previously with the delay in payments for work done,” the Chief Officer concluded.
On Monday 12th the Training will take place in Sabaoti Sub County in Machewa ward Machewa Vocational Training Centre, Saboti ward Friends Church Saboti and Kinyoro ward at Kissawai Catholic Church