The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development and NMB Bank have announced the formation of a strategic partnership to ease the collection of land rent and other levies through the lender’s payment channels.
Announcing the development in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, Minister Dr Angeline Mabula, said the partnership takes the tax payments service closer to the people.
Explaining, she said that was because the bank has a relatively wider market outreach that comprises 228 outlets, over 17,000 agents and a good number of digital channels to the grassroots.
In the arrangement, plot owners will now make land rent remittances through NMB Wakala, NMB Mkononi, the superhighway NMB Direct and the unrivalled NMB branch network.
Equally, the lender will also be offering them the rent assessment service, where the whole package was described by minister as top-class creativity and innovation of the highest level.
“In the current financial year, the ministry targets to collect 250.1bn/- in land rent, but so far we have managed to garner only 72bn/-.
“Through this partnership,” she explained, “we expect to improve the rate of collection, which currently is not very convincing, because NMB Bank is almost everywhere in this country and has innovative payment channels, therefore, payment of the rent has been simplified and made easier,” she pointed out in the press gathering.
Dr Mabula also challenged those who owe the government land rent to go for development to clear their arrears, adding that the grace period accorded to them by the Head of State not to pay the interest for untimely remittances.
In the fiscal year 2022, President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan granted forgiveness to defaulters of land rent one per cent penalty if they paid the principal amount between July and December this year.
The minister said to date the response has been lackluster, hence the need to seek ways to address the challenge.
According to her, seeking strategic partnerships is part of executing the budget of the ministry this fiscal year, which includes a collection of 250.1bn/- land rent and implementing other pivotal sectoral projects like land survey and planning undertaking.
Dr Mabula said statistics show that so far only 2,819 land owners have exploited Dr Samia’s grace period leading to a collection of some 11.99bn/-as principal amount. She said the default interest forgiven so far amounts to about 6.94bn/-.
She said NMB staff have been specifically trained and coached to handle the land assessment and payment service.
Speaking earlier, NMB Acting CEO Filbert Mponzi said the partnership augurs well with national building efforts, adding that the bank through this new alliance continues to lead in forging strategic development partnerships with the government.
According to him, NMB pioneered the sectoral collection of government revenues by being the first to join the Government electronic Payment Gateway (GePG) and so far it leads in collecting the largest amount of the proceeds.
“Today, through this partnership we are showing how well prepared we are in collecting land lent and other levies for the ministry through our different channels notably NMB Wakala, NMB Mkononi, NMB Direct and the 228 branches,” he said.
Mr Mponzi called on NMB customers to seize the opportunity and fully exploit it, as he urged those who are yet to bank with the top lender to do so to also enjoy the mouthwatering fruits of the partnership.