THE Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) is still owed more than K117 billion out of the K206-billion loans disbursed since the inception of the commission.
The commission, which has become a member of the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB), has collected more than K13 billion this year.
CEEC director general Likando Mukumbuta said the commission was still owed K117.5 billion by clients from different provinces in Zambia.
This year the commission has recovered K13,033,366,778.80, bringing the total amount of the recovered loans to about K42 billion from 2008 to-date out of the total disbursement of K206 billion.
In an interview in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Mukumbuta said CEEC was making headways with regard to the loan repayments.
Mr Mukumbuta said the total loans of more than K206 billion disbursed were predominantly in the form of business loans and trade finance.
"The loans have actually gone to all the provinces in the country with 65 per cent of the money going to Lusaka and the Copperbelt provinces. I must state that overwhelming numbers of projects were funded in these two provinces.
"About 35 per cent went into the rural areas and this is why going forward in the couple of years we want to reverse this pattern and focus the empowerment fund very much in the rural areas," he said.
Mr Mukumbuta said this was going to be in line with the industrialisation strategy under the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.
He said the commission had been developing a new strategy to accelerate the loan repayments and so far the entity had engaged nine debt collectors and increased the capacity on the ground by recruiting duly licensed financial providers at the district level to help in the collection of the funds.
"This means we are going to have financial partners in the districts closer to clients. This is greatly going to enhance our presence on the ground. We expect this exercise to increase our loan repayment," he said.
Mr Mukumbuta said CEEC, as a corporate body established under the CEE Act number 9 of 2006, saw it necessary to join the CRB to help decide if it should grant credit to a customer or not since the bureau would highlight the credit history of a client.
Mr Mukumbuta said CEEC would soon be forwarding information of its clients to the CRB so that it could be accessed by other financial institutions in the country.