He made the call during the weekend at a brief discussion with the National Bank of Commerce (NBC) during the official launch of the third edition of the international exhibition organized by the Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO).
He lauded NBC for taking deliberate measures to improve services provision and ensure that it reaches the majority of women in town and rural areas with attractive bank services.
Dr Mpango said borrowers were on the increase due to deliberate measures by the bank to put less stringent loan conditions, to lower the lending interest rate which as a policy does not exceed the 16 per cent limit, together with cooperation with various stakeholders including Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB).
“It is my call that you consider lowering the interest rate even more, especially for loans destined for women where experience has shown that they are trustworthy borrowers and diligent in making repayments,” he said.
The bank’s executive director, Theobald Sabi reinstated the bank’s commitment to continue supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in various ways including training and provision of soft loans to improve their businesses.
He assured the VP that the bank has been working on the issue of interest rate and that further steps to make lending more easily at the bank were in the pipeline.
He said NBC Bank has been organizing various training for entrepreneurs through seminars organized via NBC Biashara Club network in collaboration with SIDO and TanTrade.
“The trainings are designed for entrepreneurs from various sectors. The training also feature instruction to traders on how to access services from NBC Bank like loans and low-charged accounts, preparation of business plans in order to enable the entrepreneurs operate in an efficient manner and be capable of ascertaining profit gained or loss incurred,” he said.
Sabi noted that the bank has so far advanced loans worth 10bn/- to Kigoma Region, adding that apart from the loans, the bank was also monitoring the progress of projects run by the traders with a view to giving them advice.
“We have a partnership agreement with SIDO and TanTrade to make sure that we consolidate our endeavour to support entrepreneurs and small-scale producers in order to support the government efforts stimulating economic growth and generating employment.
Apart from the 10bn/- that we have issued to traders here in Kigoma, we cooperate with a number of Agricultural and Marketing Cooperative Societies (AMCOS) to fulfill our dedication to channel funds to the agricultural sector”, said Sabi.
The third edition of the SIDO-organized exhibition featured various stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, financial institutions with NBC Bank as the main sponsor, non-governmental organizations, and government leaders from various cadres.