Source: WATCH: NBS to aid business growth | Sunday News (Business)
Rutendo Nyeve, Sunday News Reporter
THE National Building Society (NBS) has expressed its commitment to assisting the Bulawayo business community to grow by offering them flexible financial services that respond to the nature of their challenges.
This was revealed by NBS’s managing director Mr Tapera Mushoriwa who led his team on a three-day tour of various projects in and around the city. The tour saw the team from the financial institution visiting various companies in Bulawayo that included McDonald Bricks, Arenel, and Pump and Steel to have an understanding of some of the financial challenges they are facing.
In an interview with Sunday News on Friday, Mr Mushoriwa said the tour capacitated them with prospective opportunities as well as an in-depth understanding of financial challenges which companies face.
“We came to Bulawayo empty but we leave here full of opportunities. When we got here on Wednesday basically we were meeting various companies both small and large corporates to understand what their experiences are in terms of market opportunities as well as their expectations. We were able to understand that most of the businesses were saying that banks do not understand business working cycles. Most banks give them short-term loans for about 90 days without understanding how long it takes to manufacture a particular product. These were some of the insights that we understood,” said Mr Mushoriwa.
He said they understood that the money which businesses receive from the finance industry is very short-term in nature thus they have committed to addressing the challenge through loans with longer tenures.
“We have committed as a society to put money for longer tenures. You might be aware that even when it comes to mortgage facilities we have the longest tenure ranging between 20 to 25 years. Most financial institutions are between five to 10 years.
“We are saying we are a Zimbabwean bank and state-owned thus our services are about building Zimbabwe, so it is not about the risks per se but about building Zimbabwe hence our products are exciting the business players,” said Mr Mushoriwa.
Turning to their core business which is to provide housing for the nation, the society reaffirmed its commitment to playing its part in housing the nation in line with National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
“It’s common knowledge that we are a building society and our core mandate is housing delivery. However, I must highlight that if we look at the NDS1 there are various pillars that are there. So for us, the critical ones are housing delivery and financial inclusion because for you to be able to put a shelter above your head, you must be included.
“So with financial inclusion we are saying we want to bank you from the time that you are born all the way to school, working and a pensioner. We also want to build people’s capacities for them to be able to build a house. We are also giving people the capacity through giving them loans, to take their children to school and build communities where we stay,” said Mr Mushoriwa.
He said the society was passionate about the Matabeleland region as it believes that there is a lot of scope and a huge backlog of national housing.
“When we look at Bulawayo, we know that some of the common issues are around infrastructure development and we are hoping that we can get into the right agreements, especially with the city fathers. We have got various projects in Matabeleland. In Plumtree we have got 150 hectares and another joint venture with partners,” said Mr Mushoriwa.
NBS is the brainchild of the Zimbabwean National Social Security Authority (Nssa) and a result of investment through the National Pensions Scheme (NPS) fund and the Workers Compensation Insurance Fund. It was set up with the sole mandate of contributing to the national housing stock and in support of the Zimbabwean Government financial inclusion programmes. — @nyeve14.