NEEC: Financial discipline important in making borrowers benefit from soft loans

TANZANIA: Soft loans will have positive empowerment effect if recipients will maintain financial discipline and remain focused in implementing projects agreed upon, the Executive Secretary of National Economic Empowerment Council (NEEC), Ms Bengi Issa said here yesterday.

Speaking at the launch of TAG Women Empowerment Forum in Goba, Dar es Salaam, Ms Issa explained that no amount of money and other resources will change lives recipients of soft loans if borrowers will have no financial discipline or implement badly projects agreed upon.

The government is resolute on empowering vulnerable groups using all forms of empowerment funds. However, recipients must reciprocate by maintaining financial discipline and remain focused in executing projects they have agreed upon, she said.

She said empowerment forums have proved to be effective social mechanisms in empowering women and the youth, urging Goba residents to use gainfully the forum launched yesterday. But she also said NEEC has learnt that women, especially, are taking loans that are easily offered by shrewd creditors. However, borrowers are facing serious repayment problems.

We are also aware that some borrowers are signing loan document without even reading them, something inimical to their interests. In some cases, borrowers have to repay six times the amount they borrowed. We ask you to be very careful with loans being floated around, she cautioned.

In their message, the forum said it plans to spend 131 million/- on earmarked projects. The church has contributed 300 bricks to build Matosa Primary School, yesterday it offered sanitary towels worth 320,000/-, it has given 100 reflectors to bodaboda drivers in Ubungo District and members of the church take part in donating safe blood campaigns.

The church’s Pastor, Dr Omar Mulenda, underscored the society duty to encourage all children to value education, adding that as much as possible needs of children should be met so that they can attend classes in peaceful mind. Children must be led on the right path, he said.

An entrepreneur, Ms Bahati Daudi, said in her opinion the government is doing its best to pull people out of poverty by using soft loans that are given to vulnerable groups. Some of us have been able to employ ourselves because of this public strategy, she said.

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