Dodoma — The government yesterday received Sh10.17 billion as its dividend from NMB Bank Plc as the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) listed bank maintains its profit sharing policy despite going through a challenging year in 2017.
The money is part of the Sh32 billion which NMB Bank Plc shareholders approved to be shared as dividends during their recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Dar es Salaam.
Last year, NMB Bank Plc registered a net profit of Sh93.3 billion, a 39 per cent drop from Sh150.3 billion that was garnered in 2016.
The NMB Bank managing director, Ms Ineke Bussemaker said her bank was advancing the government's financial inclusion agenda with a particular on farmers.
In this area, farmers opened over 300,000 accounts with NMB Bank Plc last year to partly help the bank to raise the number of its customers by 24 per cent to reach 2.7 million from 2.1 million in 2016.
"With the support from the government and FSDT [Financial Sector Deepening Trust], we want to reach as many Tanzanians as possible. Figures show that it is only 17 per cent of adult Tanzanians that have bank accounts... There is still work to do to meet the financial inclusion goals," she said.
Apart from the dividend, said Ms Bussemaker, NMB Plc is also one of the largest taxpayers in the country, paying a cool Sh127 billion in different government taxes last year.
During the past four years, NMB has paid a total of Sh460 billion in corporate tax, Value Added Tax, excise duty, withholding tax, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Skills and Development Levy (SDL).
The bank also contributes massively through its corporate social responsibility policy whereby it channels one per cent of its net profit towards education and health sectors among others.
The Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Phillip Mpango thanked NMB for delivering profitable results during a challenging year.
"The year 2017 was not good for the financial sector but I am glad that NMB managed to deliver profitable results and declare dividends... .This is testament to the fact that the bank has a sound management under you," he told Ms Bussemaker.
NMB currently has a total of 220 branches across the country. Its services are also available through a network of 6,000 agents - known as NMB Wakalas - and according to Ms Bussemaker, the goal is to have a total of 10,000 NMB Wakalas by the end of this year.
According to Ms Bussemaker, the bank's future looks bright, driven primarily by technology.
More services, she said, will be delivered through digital gateways including through their mobile phones for both payments and loans while Wakalas will provide banking services where branches are further away