Ruto has set a condition for millions of ‘hustlers’ eagerly awaiting one of his biggest campaign promises: the Sh50 billion a year Hustler Fund.
President William Ruto said during his Mashujaa Day speech that “hustlers” will need to take part in a pensions program in order to get low-cost credit.
This indicates that the government is using the fund to increase pension contributions as a continuation of its recent efforts to push an increase in National Social Security Fund (NSSF) contributions from the present level of Sh200 to roughly Sh2,000, which the High Court has halted.
“All borrowers on this platform will also participate in a short-term savings plan and long-term pensions programme. Every saving made by borrowers on this platform will be merged by the government of Kenya on a 2:1 ratio to a level to be determined by the programme,” President Ruto said.
Ruto gave the condition while announcing that he will launch the Hustler Fund credit and savings product on December 1.
“Already, expectations are very high across the country on our promise to provide a fund that will offer affordable credit to those at the bottom of the pyramid. We are aware that the most significant question in the streets, Boda Boda parking lots, and fresh produce markets is: When will the Hustlers Fund become operational? I have an answer for you today. I will launch this Hustler Fund credit and savings product on the 1st of December this year,” the President said in his address.
Only after the program is put into operation will it be obvious if the requirement will stimulate or inhibit the wider distribution of low-cost loans to the hustlers.
President Ruto acknowledged that many Kenyans needed access to affordable credit urgently and had high hopes for his campaign pledges, but he also said that both individuals and businesses will be able to use credit facilities.
“Credit products will be available to small businesses on digital platforms at affordable rates to individuals and through Chamas, groups, Saccos, and cooperatives,” he said.
“No citizen will be excluded from the credit system. They will, therefore, be eligible to access credit as they work their way out in paying their loans.”