05 Apr 2016 15:00pm
WINDHOEK, 05 APR (NAMPA) The SME Bank has surpassed its business plan target of N.dollars 937 million by N.dollars 46 million.
Motivating his ministry's N.dollars 840 733 000 budget allocation for 2016/17 financial year in the National Assembly on Monday, Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Minister Immanuel Ngatjizeko said the SME Bank will be funded under the ministry's industrial and business development programme which is allocated N.dollars 427 782 000.
The capitalisation of this bank is required in this financial year and is provided for in this budget.
The minister said the bank's loan book grew from N.dollars 142.7 million to N.dollars 340.8 million, while customer deposits increased from N.dollars 489.5 million to N.dollars 983 million for the period of February 2015 to February 2016.
He stressed the bank has so far opened customer accounts of about 15 359 people and opened its branches in Katutura, Ongwendiva and Rundu in addition to the main branch in Windhoek.
He noted that the bank has also improved its service delivery channels to include Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), cell phone banking and Internet banking.
The bank will soon launch its Point of Sale (PoS) machines, the minister said.
Ngatjizeko said another service available for the SMEs in the country include the provision of production equipment, machines and inputs through his ministry's Equipment Aid and Group Purchasing Scheme.
The scheme is aimed at enhancing business production capacity, productivity and competitiveness, quality and standards compliance in the world market place.
Ngatjizeko noted that about 274 entrepreneurs were assisted to acquire equipment under this scheme and have created about 554 jobs for Namibians.
He stressed that over 550 SMEs were provided with financial assistance and other related services through the capitalisation of the SME Bank.
A total of 45 SME Industrial parks are in operation countrywide, accommodating 676 tenants and have created over 5 088 jobs.
Ngatjizeko further noted that progress has been made under the Industrial Upgrading and Modernisation Programme (IUMP) in his ministry, which is aimed at improving production and supply capacity, efficiency and competitiveness of Namibian-owned manufacturing firms.
He noted that to date, 52 beneficiaries are assisted under the IUMP in the country and 177 entrepreneurs have received training through various enterprise support programmes of the ministry.