Deputy Minister for Finance, Dr Ashatu Kijaju, made the remarks in the National Assembly in Dodoma yesterday during the ongoing budget session.
She said that apart from agriculture loans, the bank has been providing financial support for implementation of different projects and investing in public institutions such as the Tanzania Railway Limited (TRL) and Tanzania Petroleum Development Cooperation’s gas project, through the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco).
She said funds to Tanesco were meant as compensation for people residing near the proposed gas pipeline route.
“TIB has successfully enabled many Tanzanians to fight poverty by providing loans in various economic sectors. A good number of farmers have benefited from loans that were issued through the bank’s agriculture window,” she said, noting that last year the bank provided farmers with loans amounting to 58.8bn/-.
She said the loans were channeled through 121 private companies, eleven financial institutions and 178 Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS).
The deputy minister explained that TIB also disbursed loans totaling 489.2bn/- for implementation of electricity projects through the Rural Energy Agency (REA). She added that the money was used to implement 181 projects, whereby a total of 257, 000 households were connected to the national grid.
“A total of 17 groups of small scale miners have so far benefited with the loan of 8bn/-,” she noted, adding that such loans have helped to improve operations of various sectors as well as created new jobs.
According to Dr Kijaju, the loans have contributed to improvement of the manufacturing sector whereby the number of goods produced in Tanzania and exported outside the country has increased. She mentioned the products as gold, coffee and flowers.
She said the bank was strategically supporting the implementation of the government’s national development plans, including the 2025 Development Vision and the attainment of agendas highlighted in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She said the bank also provided funds for implementation of settlement development in Temeke and Kinondoni districts in Dar es Salaam through the National Housing Cooperation (NHC), construction of cashewnut and fruits processing factories, warehouses and water pipes.
Dr Kijaju was responding to a question by Innocent Bashungwa (Karagwe-CCM).The legislator wanted to know the contributions of TIB and the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) in reducing poverty among citizens.
He also wanted the government to direct the bank to concentrate on implementing the ruling party’s election manifesto.