By Prosper Makene
One of the largest banks in Tanzania, NMB Bank Plc has set aside 100bn/- as affordable loans to its clients in agriculture, livestock and fisheries.
The Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Ruth Zaipuna told reporters on Thursday in Dar es Salaam that the loans intended to improve productivity in agriculture, livestock and fisheries sectors.
“We have set aside over 100bn/- as affordable loans to our clients in agriculture, livestock and fisheries as the move to improve the economy at large,” she said.
She further said that the Bank planned to start issuing the affordable loans mid this month.
She noted that the Bank targeted to provide inner support to farmers, suppliers of farm inputs, service providers, entrepreneurs, small and medium processors in the agriculture, livestock and fishing industry.
“We believe that individuals, entrepreneurs, groups or companies that are involving in agriculture, livestock and fishing industry will come out and utilize the opportunity,” he said.
The NMB Chief added: “The Bank has set the highest amount of loan being one billion shillings. The borrower can be an individual, cooperative society, company or any institution that will meet the conditions for lending.”
“Those who want the loans can visit any of the NMB Bank branches countrywide and access the service at affordable interest rates,” she said.
However, NMB Bank is one of the largest commercial banks in Tanzania, providing banking services to individuals, small to medium-sized corporate clients, government services, large businesses and agriculture lending.
NMB Bank was established under the National Microfinance Bank Limited Incorporation Act of 1997, following the break-up of the old National Bank of Commerce, by an Act of Parliament. Three new entities were created at the time, namely: (a) NBC Holdings Limited (b) National Bank of Commerce (1997) Limited and (c) National Microfinance Bank Limited.
Initially, NMB Bank could only provide payment services as well as offer savings accounts, with limited lending capabilities, before becoming a fully-fledged universal retail bank.
In 2005, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania privatized the bank when it sold part of its shareholding (49%) to a consortium led by the Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank B.A. (‘Rabobank Group’).
Subsequently, there was further divestiture in 2008 when the Tanzanian Government offloaded another 21% of its shareholding to the Tanzanian public through an Initial Public Offering (IPO). The listing of the bank’s stock on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange has led to a diversified ownership structure.
Caption: NMB Bank Plc Chief Executive Officer Ruth Zaipuna addressing the media in Dar es Salaam on the Bank’s move to start issuing affordable loans to agriculture, fisheries and livestock sectors. Looking on Right is Bank Chief of retail banking Filbert Mponzi and Bank’s head of agribusiness department Isaac Masusu.