People working in the informal sector in Bunyoro are advised to devise alternative saving schemes that will salvage them from financial crunches when they retire.
Mr Julius Bigirwa Junjura, the Chairman Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA), notes that many people working outside the formal sector have on several occasions suffered in their retirement after failing to save for their old age due to saving indecisiveness.
He says this mainly occurs when such people misconceive that there are no saving schemes yet they are at their disposal only that they are ignorant about them.
Mr Junjura cites the newly established Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisations/ Societies (Saccos) and a variety of tangible investments in different sectors of the economy that keep generating income to an individual person regardless of their ability to work off their homes or not.
The chairman stresses that diversified agricultural practices like growing perennial crops such as cocoa among others, livestock farming with speciality in cattle rearing, fowl and bee keeping inter alia as an important investment where someone can save their money for their future benefits.
He challenges traditional, religious and political leaders in the country to join the URBRA wagon to mobilise and create awareness among their subjects and followers respectively in the informal sector like motorcycle taxi riders (boda-bodas), peasant farmers and food vendors among others to prepare for their retirement through such savings.
Mr Junjura urges leaders in Bunyoro to advise communities in the region to utilise any opportunities available that will lead them to reduce their marginal propensity to consume and promote the marginal propensity to save as a better retirement plan.
He is concerned that contrary to the mandatory savings for formal sector workers to deposit their money to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), it is notable that workers in the informal sector are characterised by a dissaving culture.
The chairman reveals that URBRA is partnering with Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom and Bunyoro Kitara Diocese to ensure that they use their fora to propagate the message of saving to the subjects and followers correspondingly to ensure that people save for their old age.
Audio: Junjura on need to sensitise people about saving (English)
The Omuhikirwa (Prime Minister) of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, Mr Andrew Byakutaaga, notes that after retiring from work due to old age, many people resort to alcoholism as an avenue of trying to manage stress yet it exacerbates their financial incapacitation.
He agrees that pre-planning for retirement is a surer way of guarding against future financial glitches.
Mr Byakutaga advocates for intensified community sensitisations about the benefits of saving for old age via different media conduits so that people can adapt to the trend for a better future.
“Most people fail to save money not because they cannot afford to raise simple savings, instead they resort to overdrinking alcohol and it is this area which needs to be handled very well through community mobilisation and sensitization about the benefits of saving as a way of preparing for retirement,” he says.
However, the Bishop of Bunyoro Kitara Diocese (Anglican), the Rt Rev Samuel Kahuma Abwoli, observes that most people in the informal sector do not save for their retirement due to the low earnings from their work.
Nevertheless, the bishop says despite the inability to save, the church continues to encourage Christians to initiate agricultural ventures like coffee and mango growing as some of the projects that will bail them out financially in their retirement age.
The Hoima Resident City Commissioner, Mr Badru Mugabi, urges employers to plan and organise their employees into different saving schemes that will help the latter to lead a good life after retirement.
This was during URBRA mobilisation in Hoima.