“An opportunity has come knocking at our door steps seeking to be seized and utilised by anyone who dares to venture into competitive free market business ventures,” Msafiri said a fortnight ago during a ceremony to launch CRDB’s concessional loans targeting President John Pombe Magufuli’s recently recognised group which for many years been denied credit by banks.
“President Magufuli has already guaranteed you with CRDB to get the loan and invest in growing your business, an opportunity which you have been denied for many years,” the District Commissioner added. “Let’s make use of this loan facility to develop our district’s economy,” Msafiri urged ‘Machingas’ from her newly established district of Dar es Salaam region.
Since President Magufuli’s formal recognition of the street hawkers whom he has given official identity cards at 20,000/- flat rate per annum earlier this year, ‘Machingas’ have scrambled to get a copy of their own to access financing from commercial banks led by CRDB.
Speaking at the same ceremony, Deputy Minister in the President’s Office responsible for Regional Administrations and Local Governments, Josephat Kandege said many big business people dominating the market currently, started as petty traders.
Kandege said President Magufuli’s government deliberately issued the Machingas identity cards so that they should become formal business entity with access to credit facilities while also contributing to state revenue.
“It is important that CRDB and Kigamboni District authorities make sure that this exercise is sustained with graduates moving up to the next level while more enter the formal group,” the Minister said when officially kick-starting the CRDB SimAccount digital loan facility backed by 10bn/- of ‘Jiwezeshe’ loan scheme.
He pointed out that since the government started the ID issuing exercise to petty traders, over 1.8m have been dished out while many more keep applying for the cards. “As government, we are encouraging this exercise because it is also a vehicle for self employment by youth in a market where jobs are not easy to come by,” the Deputy Minister added.
Backing Kandege’s observation, Bank of Tanzania Deputy Governor, Dr Bernard Kibese urged CRDB to ensure that the number of its SimAccount digital loans recipients increase from the current 3,000 to at least 10,000 next year.
“CRDB has shown that it is possible to lend to petty street vendors which tallies well with its image as a truly public bank,” said Dr Kibese who further noted that millions of hawkers countrywide are waiting for a slice of CRDB ‘Jiwezeshe’ concessional loans hence the need to increase the 10bn/- budget.
Responding to issues raised by the senior government officials, CRDB Group’s Managing Director, Abdulmajid Nsekela said ‘Jiwezeshe’ SimAccount loans will be issued digitally without borrowers being required to physically visit any of the bank’s branches for endorsement.
“These loans will be issued through the borrowers’ mobile phones without any hassles and collateral,” Nsekela said pointing out that loan amounts range between 10,000/- and 500,000/- with no interest rate charged but an administrative fee of between 500/- and 2,000/- upon repayment.
He said that after President Magufuli’s formal recognition of the petty traders, CRDB has considered the head of state’s endorsement of the group as a guarantee to offer them loans. “As a truly local bank owned by the public, we felt that we need to support the government’s initiative as it will help reduce unemployment, tame poverty while contributing to increased government revenue,” the youthful CRDB chief added.
In order to qualify for the ‘Jiwezeshe’ loan, the Machingas need is to register themselves on CRDB’s SimAccount with particulars indicated on their ‘Vitambulisho vya Magufuli’ cards.