Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

Former President of the Fourth Phase, Dr. Jakaya Kikwete has expressed his satisfaction with the growth rate and stability of financial institutions in the country, urging the institutions to continue operating with even more professionalism in order to increase productivity in promoting investment and economic growth in various sectors, including business.

Speaking at a brief iftar event organized by NBC for its customers in Dar es Salaam on Thursday, Dr. Kikwete used NBC as a significant example to demonstrate the strength of the institutions, which, in addition to increasing lending rates and providing various services to customers, have also been able to generate significant profits and thus continue to strengthen themselves.

“When I give congratulations and thanks, I mean it sincerely because many financial institution reforms took place when I was Minister of Finance, so I know well where we are now and where we came from. Today, when I see banks announcing billions of shillings in profit, it clearly proves that the reforms we implemented at that time have been successful,” stated Dr. Kikwete, citing NBC Bank, which made a profit of 122 billion shillings last year, as an example.

Using more examples and historical context, Dr. Kikwete spent a considerable amount of time explaining how customers faced difficulties in accessing financial services at the institutions before the government intervened and took various measures, including closing and restructuring the ownership and management structure of some banks.

“All those challenges are now history. All I wanted to share with you is, financial sector is the lifeblood of the economy. If the sector falters, it will cause the economy to decline. Therefore, I congratulate NBC and all other institutions for continuing to provide services professionally while also strengthening their capital,” he added.

Commenting on the bank’s iftar events for its customers in various locations across the country, Dr. Kikwete stated that such events increase trust among the bank’s customers, as it is evidence that the relationship between the bank and the customer extends beyond business and also touches on their faith.

“Iftar events like these make your customers feel good because we see that we are being served by a bank that also values our spiritual interests,” he added.

Earlier, in his remarks about the event, the Managing Director of NBC Bank, Mr. Theobald Sabi, stated that the move has been a tradition of the bank for the past 15 years, aiming to join and unite with its customers as a way of showing solidarity during the holy month of Ramadan.

He emphasized that the bank highly respects the holy month of Ramadan because it is a time when individuals draw closer to their Creator through fasting and prayer.

“This is also a month that reminds us to do what is good in front of our God. Since NBC is always close to the faith of its customers, we decided to organize these iftar events to join our fellow Muslims in achieving that,” Sabi said.

Sabi also highlighted the bank’s special service, “La Riba,” which is designed for customers who adhere to the Islamic faith, following the principles of the religion regarding financial matters and the view of the religion on interest.

“NBC is the first major bank to establish banking services based on Islamic legal principles through La Riba Banking that include savings and business accounts for individuals, entrepreneurs, and large businesses. The bank also offers a special fixed deposit account that follows the principle of “Mudharaba.” Additionally, through La Riba, we provide loan services to large and medium-sized traders, small-scale entrepreneurs, and public and private sector employees,” explained Sabi.

The iftar event was attended by various guests, including government officials, religious leaders led by the Chief Sheikh of Dar es Salaam, Sheikh Walid Alhad Omar, political party leaders, customers, agents, and employees of the bank.

By Joy

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