Prison Officers and their spouses will get free financial literacy courtesy of a new programme launched on Wednesday by Stanbic Bank in partnership with the Uganda Prisons Service (UPS). The programme, which followed discussions between UPS Commissioner General Johnson Byabashaija and Stanbic Bank Chief Executive Officer Anne Juuko, is intended to enhance the economic progress of officers and their spouses.
Israel Arinaitwe, the Head of Private and Personal Banking, who represented the Juuko at the launch, said the new initiative aligns with the lender’s purpose, ‘Uganda is our home; we drive her growth.’
He added, “We made a commitment to the Commissioner General to provide free financial literacy training to all staff of Uganda Prisons and their spouses across the country. This includes all five regions of Uganda and the 49 prisons.”
Arinaitwe went on to reveal that the programme aims to benefit 52,416 officers and their families with the main aim of empowering them to make smarter decisions about their money.
Ali Lwanga, the Stanbic Bank Kampala Metropolitan area Regional Manager, said that through conversations with the Prisons leadership, a number of issues were identified. These included: managing multiple loans, dealing with financial burdens from extended families, coping with financial struggles arising from redundant families and children, limited access to proper medical care, and prioritizing expenditure on a small government salary, among others.
“Through a series of financial literacy clinics, we plan to conduct, we will address these financial pain points, provide practical solutions and guidance that will empower the prisons fraternity to overcome these challenges,” added Lwanga.
Stanbic Bank also pledged to provide a special and swift financial partnership waiver like subsidizing interest rates on different financial products for all UPS officers countrywide.
Stella Nabulya, the Commissioner of Prisons Kampala Extra Region, hailed Stanbic Bank for providing this opportunity to acquire new skills and transform lives of staff for the better.
She highlighted that a good number of prison officers struggle with issues related to financial management.
She added, “After today, I know the lives of our officers and their spouses will not remain the same as the topics and experiences being shared here are timely. During my time in office, I have witnessed several civil servants, including those from the Prisons Service, retire into absolute poverty. With this brotherly intervention, I’m exceedingly optimistic that the script is indeed going to change.”
Charles Ocici, the Executive Director of training consultancy Enterprise Uganda who will lead the programme, said the issue of managing wealth has been a big challenge to many people no matter their ranks or level of education.
He advised Prisons staff to stay away from mediocrity and other unethical behavior if they want to have financial independence.
“There are basic principles everyone in employment need to respect if he/she ever dreams of making a financial breakthrough. First, time management; how do you manage the 16 hours out of office daily? This matters because what you always do will shape your character and shape your competencies,” Ocici said.
“Again, you also need to use the eight hours you spend in office to build your competencies which will make you more productive during the 16 hours.”
He cited lack of planning, keeping bad company and lack of discipline as some of the factors keeping many people in poverty.
Nelson Kasada, the Programmes Manager at the Stanbic Business Incubator, spoke on the training opportunities the bank offers to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“In your free time, come to the Business Incubator in Kololo and learn more at no cost. We offer enterprise development training aimed at enhancing local SMEs’ capacities and promote business resilience and sustainability,” he said.
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