WINDHOEK, 23 MAY – Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Alpheus !Naruseb on Tuesday visited the Agribank headquarters in the capital as part of his familiarisation tour to State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) under his ministry in the Khomas Region.
Briefing the minister, Agribank Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sakaria Nghikembua said that a solid foundation has been laid for future growth of the bank mandated with advancing funds to persons or financial intermediaries to promote agriculture and activities related to agriculture.
“We have quite clear strategic plans and very clear focus areas that are outlined in our plans,” said Nghikembua, adding that Agribank’s board has also made good strategic progress over the past three years.
In terms of strategic achievements, the bank has put diversity funding sources and funding structures in place and has sourced N$170 million from local banks.
He added that there is an approved strategy implemented to collect debts, with two debt collectors having been assigned. They have recovered debts amounting to N.dollars 180 million since February 2017.
“The focus on collections is the key to protect the bank’s profitability into the future,” the CEO said.
The liquidity that is impacted by arrears and lower treasury transfers is one of the challenges faced by the bank, but strategies have been approved by the board to this effect and have been implemented, Nghikembua added.
On his part, !Naruseb commended the institution for empowering farmers.
He also acknowledged the role Nghikembua has played in the development of agricultural projects.
He further called for Namibia to be self-sufficient in food production, referencing Asian countries that have large populations but still manage to achieve food security.