ZANZIBAR: NMB Bank has debuted a soft credit service dubbed “NMB MastaBoti” to enable fishers in Zanzibar acquire modern fishing boats and associated gears.
The novel proposition was officially launched on Tuesday in Pemba as part of the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the Zanzibar Revolution.
Zanzibar Second Vice President, Mr Hemed Suleiman Abdullah, graced the event and received the first five boats provided under the arrangement on behalf of 20 members of Kiwani Fishers Society (JUWAKI).
Mr Abdullah said the NMB MastaBoti loans are in line with efforts of the government under President Dr Hussein Mwinyi to not only modernise fishing in the isles but also spur the blue economy and advance overall development.
“NMB Bank has established itself as one of the biggest lenders in the country, which the Zanzibar government feels proud to work closely with as a partner in sustainable development,” he noted in his speech at Tasini Primary School in Kiwani, Mkoani District.
He lauded the bank for its timely financing of the acquisition of the commercial fishing vessels, noting that the development was a sign of better things to come in the sector.
However, he cautioned that more loans would be readily available depending on timely servicing of the credit.
In that regard, he called on Juwaki members to prioritise repayment of the loans and fully exploit the potential of the insured boats to better their operations.
“This bank continues to play a critical role in national building efforts both in Zanzibar and Mainland Tanzania by supporting various sectors and many productive initiatives.
Today, they are here in Kiwani to honour our request to be supported with modern fishing equipment and gear,” he stated, promising to buy 30 litres of fuel for each boat.
In another development, Second VP also received roofing materials, including 400 iron sheets, worth 22m/- from the bank for three schools in the area, namely Chambani, Pondeani and Nanguji.
Speaking earlier, the bank’s Chief of Retail Banking, Mr Filbert Mponzi, said Dr Mwinyi’s administration was doing an excellent job to promote the blue economy, whose advancement NMB Bank fully supports.
The seasoned banker used the occasion to reiterate the lender’s commitment to continue working closely with the government in furthering Zanzibar’s socio-economic development agenda through financing and affordable financial services.
“The government has progressive development plans whose implementation we are ready to support,” Mr Mponzi noted and said that the conducive business climate put in place has greatly boosted NMB operations in the Spice Islands.
“As a result, we have been able to expand our physical presence both in Pemba and Unguja as we prepare to open a new branch here in Wete,” he added.
According to him, the NMB MastaBoti credit service seeks to empower all cadres of fishers and improve their operational circumstances.
He emphasized timely servicing of the loans noting that doing so will enable many people to benefit from the innovative scheme.
Urging more people to bank with NMB in order to enjoy its premium services such as the Mshiko Fasta digital loans, Mr Mponzi said benefits of that would include increasing the one per cent of net profit the bank allocates annually for social investments.
Other dignitaries at the well-attended event included ministers Suleiman Masoud and Shabib Hassan Kaduara as well as Mkoani District Commissioner Khatib Juma Mjaja and Kiwani legislator Rashid Abdallah Rashid.