Commerce Chamber pleads with government to assist businesses affected by SME saga
The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) is calling for urgent assistance from the government and Bank of Namibia (BoN) to aid business depositors at the SME Bank which is under liquidation.
In a statement on Friday NCCI CEO Tarah Shaanika said the chamber is extremely worried about businesses which bank with the SME Bank whose funds are now trapped by the liquidation process, completely stalling operations of such businesses.
“Our members who deposit their revenues in SME Bank accounts are unable to pay suppliers including their employees because they do not have access to their funds at the SME Bank,” he said
According to Shaanika, the closure of this bank is not of our members’ making and key stakeholders especially Government, which is the majority shareholder and the BoN which is the regulator should make urgent provisions for business depositors with positive balances to access funding through other financial institutions to support their operations.
“We cannot allow more businesses to close at a time when so much economic hardships and financial squeeze is already crippling businesses. Every effort must be made to ensure that the impact of the mess created at the SME Bank on the economy in general and business operations in particular is minimised as far as possible,” he added.
Meanwhile the chamber called for alternative funding of start-ups and SMEs through the Development Bank of Namibia during and after the winding up of the SME Bank.