AZANIA Bank Limited has launched its new branch in the country’s headquarters of Dodoma in its self-declared bid to extend its tentacles countrywide. To boost its service delivery to customers as well as supporting President John Magufuli’s industrialisation drive through financial services.
Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony to inaugurate the new branch here, the Bank’s Managing Director (MD), Charles Itembe said currently his bank has 19 branches countrywide, including the new one which will be called Sokoine-Dodoma.
“Our current main strategic objective is to expand our network by establishing at least three branches each year as well as increasing our market share by at least 3 per cent in three years,’’ said Mr Itembe. The MD added that the bank’s other objectives were centred on elevating the bank to Tier One within five years of strategic business objectives.
On why the bank decided to inaugurate a new branch in Dodoma, Mr Itembe said the latter was the fastest growing region which is in the centre of the country and that it is the headquarters of the country, meaning all government activities are conducted here.
Mr Itembe further insisted that by elevating Dodoma municipality into a city status, the government put his bank at the best position because growth of the city needed more financial services on its daily business.
“In supporting president Magufuli’s industrial agenda, there should be strategies to boost income through strong financial services, and Azania Bank Limited is committed to make this a reality in collaboration with the government and all citizens,’’ he noted.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Deputy Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Ashatu Kijaji paid tribute to the bank’s management. At the same time challenging the management to ensure that it puts up branches in all the districts and regions countrywide.
She expressed her satisfaction with the way the bank was improving small and medium entrepreneurial activities in the country, something that had so far contributed to improving various sectors including small industries.
“Currently the government is expediting land ownership systems which will help our people in accessing loans from various financial institutions by acquiring collaterals,” she added.
On his part, the bank’s chairman of the board of directors, Mr Eliud Sanga said the bank was performing well in strategic objectives and performance. Which is why during the financial year ending December 2017, the bank acquired profit amounting to 1.8bn/- from a loss of 6bn/-it recorded in its previous financial year.
This, according to him, helped the bank to provide a handsome dividend to its shareholders. In complementing President Magufuli’s industrial agenda, Mr Sanga said his bank advised several issues, including investing in financial education and on the criteria for acquiring loans to people and small and medium sized businesspeople.
Mr Sanga commended the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) for lowering Discount Rates, giving an example of last year when the central bank lowered the rates from 16 per cent to 9per cent, a move that enabled the bank to offer loans through lower interest rates.