NMB Bank Plc has started issuing lending to small scale miners to increase productivity.
Alex Mgeni, the bank’s head of Business Banking said NMB has set aside a total of Tsh32 billion loans for small-scale miners.
This is part of the bank’s plan to empower small scale miners in the country.
“Our loans issuance to small scale miners aims at helping them perform their operations efficiently. This is to support the government’s commitment to increase productivity in the mining sector by improving regulations, laws and policies,” Mgeni said at the bank’s Business Club forum held in Mwanza.
According to him, the loans, which have been disbursed since January 2020, will cover operational costs, including purchasing of mining equipment, machinery and vehicles.
Commenting on the effect of the novel COVID-19 pandemic, Mgeni noted that it has challenged business and investment system, particularly in tourism sector and cross border businesses.
He thanked the government’s efforts in terms of calming public fear against coronavirus, saying NMB has assisted its clients by slashing payment rates and suspending loan payment to others, especially those in the tourism industry who were mostly affected.
Albert Kassa, Chairman of NMB Business Club in Mwanza Region, urged entrepreneurs in the country to alter from being vendors or middlemen instead of focusing on manufacturing value added products to increase their productivity.
“Increasing productivity and value added goods will increase not only earnings of individual entrepreneurs, but also employment opportunities for our youths,” he said.
Kassa pointed out that the increase in entrepreneurial income and employment opportunities will lead to more revenue collection through various taxes and levies and ultimately increase the government’s ability to finance and improve social services in the health, infrastructure, water and education sectors.
Baraka Ladislaus, NMB’s Lake Zone Manager said the Business Club forum offers avenues for entrepreneurs share their experience among themselves, and give the bank a room to hear, receive and give answers to customers stabling issues.
“Through feedback from our customers, the bank has the opportunity to improve services and products,” said Ladislaus.
Contilda Magweti, an entrepreneur, said despite bringing them together, the NMB Business Club’s annual forum gives them an opportunity to have face-to-face discussions with bank’s executives.
She urged her fellow entrepreneurs to avoid self-interest by helping each other with the knowledge on how to increase production, quality and reaching local and international markets.