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Kenyans Withdraw Ksh31 Billion From Saccos - Money Weekly
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Kenyans Withdraw Ksh31 Billion From Saccos - Money Weekly

Welcome to this week's edition of the Money Weekly Roundup, where we bring you the latest developments that affect your pocket from the world of money. 

In this week's headlines, Kenya has topped global Worldcoin registrations with a record 350,000 entries, the cabinet has granted the green light to dissolve NHIF and create three new funds, savers withdraw Ksh31 billion from Sacco savings amid tough economic times and many more.

Let’s dive in.

Kenya Tops Global Worldcoin Registrations 

Kenyans have shown the most significant interest in the Worldcoin cryptocurrency project compared to 34 other countries where similar initiatives were launched.

In a disclosure made by the Office of the Director of Computer and Cyber Crime, it was revealed on Tuesday, August 29, that the American company had enlisted agents who were deployed to thirty different locations in Nairobi. Their task was to conduct iris data scans for subsequent transmission.

During an appearance before the National Assembly Ad Hoc Committee of Inquiry into the Worldcoin Project, David Njoka, the Head of Cybersecurity Standards and Policy for the agency, shed light on how Worldcoin initially presented itself as a research institution. 

However, as the committee was told, it later expanded its data processing operations, inadvertently exposing unsuspecting Kenyan individuals to its activities.

“A week after the launch of Worldcoin cryptocurrency on July 22, they announced that they have registered over 350,000 Kenyans and in terms of the numbers of data registered globally. Kenyans amounted to around 25% which is something of concern,” said Njoka.

Read Also: Government Suspends Worldcoin Eye Scanning in Kenya

Cabinet Grants Green Light to Dissolve NHIF and Introduce Three New Funds

The government has initiated the process of abolishing the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) with the goal of achieving Universal Health Care (UHC) in the country. 

In a recent development, the Cabinet, led by President William Ruto during a meeting at the Kakamega State Lodge, has given the green light to three proposed Bills. These Bills are intended to revoke the NHIF and instead introduce three new funds: the Primary Healthcare Fund, the Social Health Insurance Fund, and the Emergency, Chronic, and Critical Illness Fund.

A communication released by State House Spokesperson Hussein Mohamed also highlighted that the Primary Health Care Bill, 2023; the Digital Health Bill, 2023; the Facility Improvement Financing Bill, 2023; and the Social Health Insurance Bill, 2023 have been approved. These Bills are now slated to be presented to the Parliament for review and approval.

According to the Cabinet Dispatch, the Digital Health Bill will facilitate the establishment of standards for the implementation of mobile health (m-health), telemedicine, and healthcare-related e-learning.

Read Also: TikTok to Open Kenyan Office

Savers Withdraw Ksh31 Billion from Sacco Savings Amid Economic Struggles

In response to mounting economic challenges, Kenyan citizens withdrew a substantial sum of Ksh30.8 billion from their savings and credit cooperative societies (Saccos) over the past year.

The most recent disclosures from the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (Sasra) reveal a noteworthy decline in withdrawable deposits, also known as Fosa savings. These deposits plummeted by 26.9%, shrinking from Ksh114.59 billion to Ksh83.78 billion.

This trend marks the second consecutive year of savers accessing their savings. In 2022, Sacco savers had withdrawn Ksh10.46 billion, causing a dip in Fosa savings in Sasra-supervised Saccos from Ksh12.05 billion.

Furthermore, fixed deposit savings experienced a decrease of Ksh1.31 billion, declining from Ksh22.33 billion to Ksh21.02 billion during the review period.

Sasra is attributing this situation to elevated inflation levels, which are putting pressure on members' ability to save more this year. Consequently, some Saccos are resorting to borrowing to meet their members' borrowing demands.

Read Also: I Saved Enough to Buy a Plot in Juja, Then Missed it at the Last Minute

Teachers Receive Salary Boost as TSC Implements Pay Rise

On Monday, August 28, key education stakeholders in Kenya came together for a significant meeting to address the ongoing salary review dispute. 

This meeting involved the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (KUSNET), and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). The primary agenda was to reevaluate the proposed presidential salary increments ranging from 7% to 10%.

This salary review impasse had previously created tension between the teachers' unions and the Nancy Macharia-led commission. TSC had initially proposed a salary adjustment ranging from 2.4% to 9.5%, with an unusual arrangement where the lowest-earning teacher received the highest percentage increase, while the highest-earning teacher received the lowest percentage bump.

In the agreement reached during the meeting, it was decided that the 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement would be amended and implemented in two phases over the next two years. 

Under this revised agreement, entry-level graduate teachers will see an additional increment of Ksh4,164, and those working in former municipalities will receive Ksh5,141. 

Teachers based in rural areas and small towns will experience an increment in their house allowances ranging from Ksh2,100 to Ksh8,700. 

KUPPET has also committed to ongoing negotiations for the harmonisation of house allowances, akin to the case with commuter allowances. Furthermore, 50,000 teachers are slated for promotion as part of this agreement.

This development follows the recent announcement by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) regarding a 7-10% salary increase for civil servants, effective retroactively from July 1. 

This salary increment is projected to cost taxpayers approximately Ksh21.7 billion for the financial year 2023/2024, with teachers receiving the largest share, amounting to Ksh9.5 billion. 

The SRC clarified that the average increase falls within the range of 7% to 10% over a two-year period, inclusive of the existing notch increase, which averages around 3% annually.

Read Also: What Should I Do With Extra Money I Just Made? 5 Money Dilemmas

Businesses Secure Ksh6.2 Billion in Fuliza Loans Over a Two-Month Span

In a span of two months leading up to June, businesses collectively tapped into a substantial Ksh6.2 billion from the Fuliza overdraft facility. This notable utilisation highlights the growing popularity of Safaricom's M-Pesa facility, which was initially designed for individual users.

Safaricom unveiled a significant collaboration with KCB Bank Kenya on May 4, 2023, introducing Fuliza ya Biashara. This service allows business owners to access unsecured credit by overdrawing on their M-Pesa business tills, aiding in addressing short-term cash flow gaps.

KCB's latest report on the service indicates that businesses drew Ksh6.2 billion, effectively expanding the reach of Fuliza, which had, until then, primarily served individuals seeking to settle payments when their M-Pesa balances were insufficient.

Safaricom's Fuliza ya Biashara permits overdrafts ranging from Ksh1,000 to Ksh400,000, providing a grace period of 24 hours with no interest charges. 

For outstanding amounts beyond this timeframe, customers incur a 2% daily access fee, applicable for up to 29 days. 

Business owners can draw multiple overdrafts as long as they remain within their approved limits.

Read Also:‘Fuliza ya Biashara’ is Giving up to Ksh400k in Overdrafts

Other Money News 

  • On Tuesday, August 29, the Cabinet made a significant adjustment by removing the national identity card requirement for underage student loan applicants. This change aims to enable these young applicants to become eligible for allocations from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB). This decision ensures that approximately 1,000 new students will not miss out on vital loans, securing their chances of gaining admission to universities.
    The Ministry of Education had previously stated that underage students planning to enrol in universities from September 2023 would be ineligible for HELB loans due to not having reached the legal age of 18, which is required for contractual agreements under the law. This development came in response to mounting concerns from parents and after Members of Parliament pressed the Education Ministry for a solution regarding the fate of these 1,000 students.
  • Over the seven months leading up to July 2023, there has been a noticeable dip in the production of assembled cars, signalling a 12.5% decline and underscoring the continued sluggishness in the new car market.
    Data sourced from the Kenya Motor Vehicle Industry Association reveals that the key players in vehicle assembly, namely Isuzu East Africa, Associated Vehicle Assemblers, and Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers (KVM), collectively manufactured 5,147 units during this assessment period. This figure marked a drop from the previous year's 5,888 units.
    Of the 6,636 new vehicles sold during the specified timeframe, assembled vehicles constituted a substantial 77.6% of the total. This is a decline from the 7,798 units sold in the sector during the previous year.
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Sheila Brenda Andoi is a dedicated journalist, meticulous editor, and skilled communicator with a profound passion for maternal health. Her journey in the world of media and communication has been marked by a commitment to shedding light on crucial issues. Sheila's writing not only informs but also inspires and educates

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