National Development Bank finds solace on the successful Pandamatenga and Mosesedi project farms as the financial institution moves to quell criticisms leveled against it over unsatisfactory performance.
The Bank Chief Executive Officer, Lorato Morapedi cut a picture of struggling institution before Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies last week, decrying financial constraints worsened by the debt legacy inherited over the years before she ascends to the throne.
Morapedi took to the reins in 2009 upon which time she found the parastatal Bank in miserable debts, it emerged during the audit proceedings.
“Some of the bad debts are the result of non-performing loans…the debt legacy we inherited from the previous leadership,” she revealed responding to the query from Committee member Pius Mokgware who is worried about the money owed the Bank uncollected.
NDB’s loan book stood at a staggering P1.3 billion out of which P600m will be placed under doubtful debt while P300m will be written off.
With so much debt owed to the institution mainly on non-performing loans, Mokgware questioned the existence of NDB soliciting the success of it todate.
“We are grateful of the projects such as Pandamatenga and Mosesedi farms whose contribution to the country over food security could not be underestimated,” Morapedi said, citing whopping millions of Pula injected to the projects by the institution “to where they are today.”
While Pandamatenga obtains a seasonal fund of P100m, Mosesedi secured P40m in addition to the infrastructural developments already completed at the projects.
Morapedi equate a total of P600m already disbursed to the Pandamatenga farms for infrastructure development alone so far.
From simple tilling of land for commercial purposes, Pandamantenga farms have become a household name in the farming circles feeding the country with even basic food commodities including maize and sorghum thanks to modern methods of farming not least the electrification of the project.
Still at embryonic stage having started production in recent years, Mosesedi farms are expected to augment Pandamatenga farms themselves similarly having started from scratch with the financial assistance of NDB.
NDB mandate focuses mainly on agriculture and SMME’s products- a move the Bank’s CEO is adamant will stick to the very end amid impending attempts to commercialization and privatization.