Former President Benjamin Mkapa has lauded NMB Bank for emerging as one of the strong institutions that survived during the privatisation exercise carried out by his administration in 1995.
Speaking at the introduction of his book titled “My Life, My Purpose,” to Mwanza residents and entire Lake Zone regions, Mkapa said he took such a tough decision to relieve the burden of subsidising loss making public parastatals.
He said the decision involved the privatization of NBC hence the creation of NMB in 1997 and was happy that the bold action brought positive impact that led to the selling the government’s 49 per cent shares to a consortium of strategic investors led by Rabobank Group in 2005.
“I am happy to see that since then, NMB has registered steady growth and widen its focus to serving the common man, SMEs large corporates…basically catering for that need banking services,” he said.
Mkapa was vividly irked by what he referred to as unfair criticisms by critics on his privatisation exercise saying it was a must for his government to carry it out in order to save the hard earned tax payers money that could otherwise be utilised to subsidise the ailing public parastatals in serious financial troubles.
“One thing that disappoints me when someone criticise our privatizing NBC Bank is that they do not acknowledge how indebted it was reaching to a point where it was going to have to obtain a subsidy from the Treasury to keep operating; that is not what government revenues are for,” according to the former president.
Ruth Zaipuna, NMB Acting Managing Director, congratulated the retired president for penning the book, especially for mentioning NMB as a success story in the privatisation journey as a result of policy decisions carried out by his administration.