Commercial banks’ CEOs have lately come under-fire globally for their alleged greed in pocketing bonuses even when the economies were struggling.
Mr Maina told an African Medical Research Foundation five year business plan launching ceremony in Dar es Salaam yesterday that globally media outlets are dominated by news that attack banking senior executives who take home handsome checks in bonuses as the banks close their financial books.
“In the UK, a senior executive had to let go of his bonus which he had worked for because of criticism,” Mr Maina said while assuring AMREF that Barclays Bank Tanzania Limited will continue being a committed partner which invests in community health provided there are returns. Last week, CEO of Britain’s second-largest bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Stephen Hester declined to collect his 1.5 million US dollars (over 2bn/-) bonus check after House of Commons opposition lawmakers vowed to put it to a vote. The bank’s board argued that RBS’ CEO bonus was reasonable, especially since his base pay of 1.9 million US dollars (about 3bn/-) was lower than that of most comparable CEOs. But many lawmakers rejected that logic, saying that since RBS was bailed out heavily in 2008 and is now mostly public-owned, it should focus on paying back British taxpayers. Maina who teamed up with ITV and Radio One Managing Director, Joyce Mhaville, Tanzania Moslems Council Programme Director, Asina Shenduli, Netherlands Embassy First Secretary, Rik Peeperkorn and AMREF Country Director, Dr Festus Ilako, as panelists during the launch, pledged to continue supporting various community activities as part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility. “When we make profits we
make sure that we give back to the communities,” Maina pointed out noting that annually his bank allocates one percent of its profits to fund charity. AMREF has been a beneficiary of the bank’s grants. Dr Ilako said although private companies have been supporting the foundation, it’s a tiny percentage that is local. “We get only one percent of our total donations annually from local companies,” he pointed out saying apart from Barclays, other major sponsors include Africa Barrick Gold, National Bank of Commerce and
Serengeti Breweries Limited. Challenging the private sector that investing in community health is very important as healthy people are behind successful businesses, Dr Ilako argued that in the past five years, the foundation received some four million US dollars (over 6bn/-) from private companies mainly multinationals.
“Investing in health, as my friend Kihara Maina said, makes good business sense,” he pointed out. In its five year business plan presented by Deputy Country Director, Dr Florence Temu, AMREF stressed the need for public private partnership to address growing health needs of communities as government budgets get overstretched.
The plan was officially launched by Deputy Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Lucy Nkya who pledged government’s commitment to allocate more resources to the health sector.