The Afya Sacco society which have been steered from very humble beginnings when it had only accumulated share capital, savings, assets and other properties valued only in about Kshs 500 million or more, is no longer the story today as the Sacco has in that respect accumulated more than Kshs. 13 billion as at the close of the last financial year.
Afya Sacco’s top management have over the years overseen the day to day running of the organization in a team of more than five managers handling various departments of the society like a cog wheel to make things run in an efficient synchronized manner.
There is no doubt there have been huge challenges over the years along the way to steer such a multi-billion shillings organization from a million shillings entity to where it is currently standing considering the fact that initially its operations were mainly scattered in the former provincial administrative entities tied mostly to its members working at the provincial hospitals.
However that is no longer the story since with the devolution to county government structures following the promulgation of the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya 2010, the former Chief Executive
Mr. David Waroe and his team led by the then able Deputy CEO Mr. Felix Ndoi who took over from him successfully oversaw the opening up of the Sacco’s branches in all the country’s 47 counties.
Indeed the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step and that is what happened when Afya Sacco was established in 1971with a mere twenty members, the rest is history as Mr. Waroe handed over to Mr. Ndoi to take over the mantle while he heads to Mukurweini to jump into the political fray to try and win that constituency’s seat from the current legislator Kabando wa Kabando.
Joining the Sacco as a junior officer in the 1980s Mr. Waroe saw its expansion from the toddler it was operating initially in rented offices to building offices on Tom Mboya street opposite Meridian hotel, the multi-million shillings maisonettes on Ngong road, buying and distributing land worth billions to the Sacco members crowned by the construction of the multi-billion shillings Afya Centre sky scraper on Tom Mboya street that houses the national headquarters of the society.
There it has 17 departments which are Human Resources, Operations and Procurement, Information Technology, Members Personal Accounts, Human Resources, Internal Audit, FOSA Operations, Marketing, Personal Loans, Public Relations, Finance, Loans, Data, Customer Care, Investments and Holdings, General Accounts and Registry.
Indeed Mr. Waroe was directly responsible for the construction of the multi-billion shillings Afya Centre right from purchase of the plot, tendering to choosing contractors and supervising the winning companies execute their duties as he was required to report directly to the society’s board of directors currently chaired by Mr. Vitalis Peter Lukiri.
Apart from that the fact remains that the former CEO saw the departure of a number of the society’s board of directors’ chairmen as their terms expired since they are elected by delegates one of the most critical being that of Mr. Lubembe, who was replaced by Mr. MakOyugi who was succeeded by the current chair.
This state of affairs means that the Chief Executive has the ultimate responsibility of making or breaking the society since the board of directors come and go but the most critical question being able to outlive the regimes of the various chairpersons that may come and leave after the expiry of their terms.
This is the giant that Mr. Ndoi has inherited from Mr. Waroe to start yet another long road to prosperity under a myriad of challenges some of which were enumerated in detail at the last ADC by the Sacco Chairman who also outlined the way forward with the usually annual reviews.
The Society’s Management continued to do business in a challenging business environment over the last year. The key challenges faced, the increased administrative and personnel costs, Consistently high interest rates charged by commercial banks making alternative sources of financing difficult to obtain and the heightened demand by the Society members for a higher dividend.
The Management Board would review the dividend policy to achieve the regulators demands. Low liquidity occasioned by delays in receipt of monthly’ remittances. The situation was further worsened by devolution of services and check-off to counties.
The High demand for loans from members – The propensity to borrow from members is higher than their propensity to save. This Scenario has clearly been witnessed by the AMCA product where the demand for loans is higher than funds mobilized.The high cost associated with setting up a branch network to provide effective service to members at county level.
These are some of the challenges, that Mr. Ndoi has to take by the horns as the management team at the society looks up to him for direction, the board of directors looking up to him to deliver but more so the members of the Sacco who are always hungry for dividends come every Annual Delegates Conference.