The Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola addressed members of Police Savings Association Limited (PSAL) during their annual general meetings, and stated that commercial interest rates among other issues forced them to form their SACCO.
Read his full speech below:
As Uganda Police leadership, we are delighted to be part of this Annual General Meeting which reflects in a practical way how police officers can organise themselves in a proper manner to financially benefit from one another and help to make a difference in their general welfare.
The “Police Savings Association Ltd – (PSAL)” was started on the 28th day of April 1989 with a mission of promoting the welfare of members for prosperity and development through savings, investment support and efficient utilization of resources to alleviate poverty. This is purely a voluntary saving association where officers contribute a specific amount of money each month. The officers are also afforded a turn to borrow at a very low interest rate and satisfy their individual needs.
It was started with a background and description that the resource envelope from the government cannot be adequate to address all our officers’ needs especially if not properly directed. The other reason was that the Commercial banks’ policies with their bureaucratic and high interest rates are hostile to accommodate our daily financial requirements and were exposing majority of our officers to extreme poverty, hardships and enormous financial difficulties.
The main purpose of forming the saving scheme was therefore, to collect, invest, protect, lend, and support police officers. It was designed to respond to the dynamics of Police officers’ professional and personal challenges, and the enormous demands of their lives and times.
Ladies and Gentlemen, in any society, not everyone will do equally well without challenges. Just like the Exodus Sacco, PSAL also faces some difficulties and hardships but the most practical way it adopted to overcome such challenges was;-
To stick to fundamental core values of integrity, transparency and accountability.
The broad-based voluntary support it enjoys among its members.
The magnificent work that is being done by the Board that has sought to dedicate time, patience and effort in setting the scheme to the right direction in terms of investments.
As a result, the scheme has grown exponentially, worth a massive membership although there is still a lot to be done.
In view of Force’s commitment to encouraging savings, we support the many positive contributions and initiatives undertaken by PSAL and other saving schemes which are aimed at helping the Police officers and their families in raising their living standards.
We have always believed that those who want to improve themselves should first help others to do so. I hope that PSAL will continue to uphold this spirit, and at the same time reach out to all other police officers, so that it can strengthen their financial stability.
Going forward, it is my view that all our saving schemes should come up with more innovative and responsive solutions, and reach out more effectively to our officers especially those at the lower ranks that grapple with challenges of :-
Financial hardships especially during times of paying school fees for their children.
As Police leadership, we will continue to support the initiatives and programs of these saving schemes, and work with them to ensure that no one in need of saving will be left behind without support. The leadership has also launched serious means to tackle the few problems experienced by our saving schemes and help them succeed.
Meantime, I implore you to sensitize and attract other individual police officers to join these saving schemes to help themselves, and to provide for their future needs.
Finally, I would like to thank PSAL Board of Directors for your open-handed support and dedication in advancing the cause of our officers. You are not only the backbone of savings in the force, but also its heart and soul.
With your effective programs you will surely make a strong contribution where it counts. Let us maintain this strong spirit of solidarity and mutual help, and work together to create a caring, prosperous and cohesive Uganda Police Force.
I wish all of you continuing success in addressing the welfare of our personnel through savings and lending.
I thank you.
J.M.Okoth- Ochola, (Esq.)
INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE