Co-operatives & Friendly Societies
The Department of Co-operatives and Friendly Societies has responsibility for administering the Co-operative Societies Act and the Friendly Societies Act and their respective regulations. It regulates and supervises credit unions, agricultural societies and fourteen (14) other types of producer and service societies, plus benevolent, specially authorized and friendly societies. The Department also plays the important role of ensuring stability in the co-operative and friendly societies movements which has a membership of over 1.3 million individuals. The mandate of the Department is essentially to ensure the safety of societies’ assets and the protection of members' savings and investments and other stakeholders’ interests. Its functions include:-
- Registration of societies and their rules
- Inspection and supervision of societies
- Annual audits and investigations
- Settlement of disputes affecting societies' business
- Suspension of societies' registrations
- Cancellation of societies' registrations
- Dissolution and liquidation of societies
- Capacity building for societies
Additionally, the Department monitors and assists the development of the Co-operative Movement in keeping with Government’s policies as well as global trends and provides technical assistance to facilitate sustainability of the Co-operative Societies and Friendly Societies Movements. The Department is also engaged in activities geared towards educating the youth in particular and the public in general about economic opportunities that co-operatives offer. The Department’s programmes are implemented through the delegation of responsibilities under the respective Sections (Business Units) of the Department, as follows:
- Inspectorate: Regulatory Section that conducts periodic inspections and provides guidance for the entities to operate in compliance with the rules and Acts under which they are registered.
- Audits and Investigations: Commission annual audits for all registered entities at the end of their financial year and to investigate all suspected and reported incidences of fraudulent activities.
- Research, Training and Development: Facilitates sensitization and training sessions for all groups that have applied for registration under the Co-operative Societies Act and Regulations and the Friendly Societies Act and Regulations. Initiates programmes geared toward promotion and for sustainable development of these entities.