ZICB seeks to help manage CDF

THE Zambia Industrial Commercial Bank (ZICB) is poised to partner with councils and communities in managing the Constituency Development Fund.

According to the proposed 2022 national budget, government has increased the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) from the current K1.6 million to K25.7 million.

This is in a bid to enforce decentralisation in the governance system.

In an interview after a media breakfast the bank hosted at Lusaka’s Southern Sun Hotel yesterday, chief executive officer Ignatius Mwanza said the financial institution can help in various ways.

“We want to be a medium through which government can transfer CDF to the various constituencies. They can therefore bank with us. We realise that there are serious challenges of such funds out there, especially in rural areas. So that’s where we come in to help,” he said. “Also, remember that there will be skills need such as in bricklaying, plumbing, carpentry and so on. The question is, do they have enough of those skills? If they don’t, we can help in capacity building by training some of the people in such skills.”

Mwanza further said the bank could help outsource skills that might not be available in certain parts of the country.

“Remember, they have to build schools, hospitals, bridges, and other infrastructure. And in all these they need engineers, builders…do they exist in these areas?” Mwanza asked. “This is where we come in to partner with the councils and communities to help source such skills if they are not available. Also, we can help manage the CDF because there is certainly not enough capacity to manage such resources in most of these areas. The bank is there also to promote SMEs (small-scale and medium enterprises) and the corporates.”

Earlier in his presentation, Mwanza said the ZICB received a stimulus package from the Bank of Zambia at the height of COVID-19.

“We accessed about K6.1 million from the Bank of Zambia in stimulus package. Obviously, we had challenges also. We had a number of customers who borrowed from the bank. We had to engage those customers and we rescheduled payment of their loan obligations,” said Mwanza.

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