Agribank puts on new coat
Agribank officially inaugurated their renovated head office this week more than two years after the completion of the renovation works. Keynote speaker, President Hage Geingob jokingly enquired about the delay, but Agribank Chief Executive, Leonard Iipumbu chose not to divulge any information that may bring his institution into further disrepute.
Ambassador Iipumbu said that the project was completed in July 2013 at the cost of N$59 million and the building has been designed to adopt modern energy efficient devices, while conserving natural light. “Moreover, the bank adopted the latest technology such as finer print devices to improve safety and security,” he emphasised.
He also announced that when he started working for Agribank as CEO in 2005, the bank was in financial stress with a debt of N$167 million owing to other financial institutions. “But as a result of implementing strategic initiatives, the bank’s loan book grew by an average of 24% per year, from N$650 million in 20005 to N$2.4 billion in 2015, and therefore we do not owe any financial institution any more,” he said.
Ms Tertu Uuyuni, Chairperson of the Agribank Board of Directors explained that they as a board have identified ten strategic focus areas, to fast track the efficient execution of the bank’s mandate. These comprise a culture change, performance management system, areas recovery, strengthening the balance sheet, optimized information and communication technology, improvement of sales and services delivery, recruitment and retention of key staff, stakeholder relationships, corporate governance and compliance with the regulatory environment.
She added that because of the drought affecting the livelihoods of farmers, Agribank has provided a drought relief scheme of N$45 million in this financial year to mitigate the negative impact on their clients.
His Excellency Dr Hage Geingob, congratulated Agribank on not having any debts, and that they are setting a good example to the rest of the parastatals by being self sufficient. “Keep up the good work, but do not transgress and come back and ask for money from the government,” he added. “We can only grow and become better as a country if we work together to move in the right and same direction, therefore we should hold each other’s hands and pull each other to move forward, to fight poverty and corruption,” concluded His Excellency.
A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed between Agribank and SME Bank, to co-finance projects by SME Bank and Agribank and the provision of funds to SME Bank by Agribank through managed funds or specific lines of credit for on-lending to agricultural SME projects.