State to reward top Hustler Fund borrowers, increase limit
| Nov 30, 2023
President William Ruto has told off politicians opposed to the Hustler Fund terming it one of the most successful programmes that his administration launched one year ago.
Ruto said out of Sh12 billion that his government has lent out, almost Sh40 billion has circulated among subscribers with 19 million Kenyans taking loans while 7.7 million Kenyans are active members who have borrowed and repaid their loans.
The President who was speaking during the Hustler Fund’s first anniversary celebration in Nairobi, yesterday, said 7 million Kenyans who had been listed by the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) have their credit limits repaired while others were cleared.
“Those Kenyans who have borrowed from the Hustler Fund have made savings of 5 per cent which is now Sh2 billion which is a saving component of the Hustler Fund," said Ruto.
He announced that the government will on Friday reward 1.2 million borrowers with a matching fund in their long-term savings account in the ratio of 1 shilling for every two shillings saved.
“Some 1.2 million Kenyans by tomorrow morning will have a matching fund in their accounts. You must have demonstrated that you are truly committed to the Hustler Fund by borrowing five times. If you have borrowed five times and saved Sh6,000, we will give you Sh3,000,” he said.
The Head of State said the government is going to enhance the limit of 1.2 million Kenyans who are active participants in the Hustler Fund which will be double the current amount with those who have saved having the right to withdraw 30 per cent of their savings while 70 per cent can be put in long term savings.
“I would like to inform Kenyans that the Hustler Fund has been very successful with Sh 40 billion circulating among the 19 million Kenyans who have borrowed and repaid their loans, the Sh12 billion that has been lent out to subscribers is self-sustaining,” he said.
Ruto said it is worth noting that 2.2 million Kenyans who were under CRB are beneficiaries of the Hustler Fund where they are not condemned by anybody for not paying back loans on time and wondered why some leaders speak ill of such a noble initiative that aims to turn around the country.
At the same time the President noted that his administration has reduced the price of fertiliser from Sh7,000 to Sh 2500 which has enabled farmers to plant crops that are expected to lower the price of food commodities in the market.
“Reducing the cost of living is one of the key campaign pledges that we made to Kenyans, my administration has put several measures in place to ensure that is achieved, we are happy that our intervention programmes have started bearing fruits,” he said.
Ruto said affordable housing programme has employed 120,000 Kenyans in various capacities with 50,000 houses built while 90,000 units will be complete by January 2024 to ensure Kenyans living in slums and other areas get decent housing.
He announced that in five years they intend to have 500,000 Kenyans working in the housing plan sector as engineers, artisans, plumbers, and masons among other cadres.
“Our main plan is to ensure that majority Kenyans own their decent houses in the next 15 years that is why the government is taking the housing plan seriously which will also ensure that we create jobs for 500,000 Kenyans to work in this sector,” said Ruto.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua noted that the Hustler Fund has transformed lives by bringing financial inclusivity at the bottom of the pyramid.
Gachagua asked county governments to spare hustlers selling their wares on the streets of various towns since they are out to cater for the needs of their families.
“The hustlers are the solution to the country’s economic challenges that is why we are asking county governments to be lenient on those who are carrying out their small businesses along the streets of various towns across the country since they are playing a crucial role in nation building,” he said.
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FINANCIAL STANDARDBy Brian Ngugi