By Michael Kanaabi Dollar
Kayunga town was a buzz of activity earlier this week as Her Excellency Jessica Alupo carried out the first disbursements of Parish Development Model funds (PDM).
This was at the Post Bank Branch in Kayunga town. Post Bank is one of the 3 government banks including Housing Finance Bank and Pride Microfinance which will be used to disburse the PDM funds across the country.
Her Excellency Alupo commended Post Bank for the efficiency in it’s disbursement system which begins with an applicant who is a member of a SACCO with the bank raising a request to the Treasurer, it’s approved by the Chairman and the bank gets an alert which then has the funds sent to the recipient’s phone or bank account.
“The Parish Development Model funds are aimed at enhancing food security, economic empowerment and awakening communities for production all of which are aimed at transforming the lives of Ugandans who have been living from hand to mouth” Alupo said.
Hon. Dennis Galabuzi Ssozi the National Coordinator of the PDM program while addressing guests assured Ugandans that they did enough research, profiling and analysis on households to ensure this money only goes to those who need it most for starters.
“ As a team at the Secretariat your Excellency we have been all across the country to verify the data collected and engage with potential beneficiaries, mobilisers and other stakeholders in this program to ensure all goes right and there is no wastage of public resources under PDM like has been the case with other similar programs” he said.
Post Bank is taking the lead in the disbursement of these funds given it’s robust branch network and digital channels that are accessible in most parts of the country.
Mark Ngarinde the Manager Alternative Channels at Post Bank Uganda explained to guests that the system the bank is using to disburse these funds is robust being able to work online, using USSD, mobile phones and with the agents of the bank across the country.
“The PDM beneficiaries are grouped into SACCOS and our system has been built with multi level checks and balances to ensure only the beneficiary gets the money” he said.
Andrew Kabeera Post Bank’s Executive Director emphasized the importance of digital channels in ensuring the Parish Development Model is a success as they eliminate handling of bulk cash by third parties and any form of possible corruption or diversion.
“The money moves straight from the bank to the beneficiary with a trail that can be verified through their phone, bank account or direct withdraw from any of our smart ATMs using a code generated in the system” he said.
The Bank is also disbursing smart gadgets to the 2500 plus SACCOs benefiting from the program across the country that are registered in Post Bank to ensure easy monitoring of the funds on their side according to Kabeera.
He emphaiszed Post Bank’s commitment to supporting government programs going forward through their robust branch network and digital channels across the country.
Night Kevina one of the first recipients of the funds thanked the government for this initiative which will improve their livelihoods. “ I want to use this money to grow my local chicken rearing business by at least 30 extra chicken and also have egg production begin to uplift by family” she said.
Over 500 billion has been released by government this financial year out of the 1 trillion shillings that is budgeted for the financial year. Of this close to 250 billion has already been disbursed to 162 local governments across the country.
Local Government Minister Raphael Magyezi under whose docket PDM falls urged political leaders in local governments to mobilise and ensure this program is a success pledging government support to them in form of motorcycles and other facilitation so that the nation’s poor can be uplifted into the money economy.
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