NANCY MWAPE, Lusaka
ZAMBIA National Building Society (ZNBS), which plans to borrow US$50 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB), is expected to declare K1 million as dividend to Government this year.
ZNBS chairperson David Nama said the institution is trying to access cheaper long-term funding from the AfDB that will enable it provide affordable mortgages.
During the annual general meeting yesterday, Mr Nama said AfDB is ready to provide the ZNBS with US$50 million provided Government guarantees the loan.
“With the US$50 million, we envisage getting from AfDB, we hope to increase housing stock by offering affordable mortgages.
“We are looking forward to seeing a time when Zambians can pay same money charged on rentals towards mortgages for their own houses,” he said.
Currently, the country is faced with a housing deficit of 1.5 million.
Mr Nama is disheartened that graduates from colleges and universities are forced to stay in shanties and paying high rentals ranging between K1,500 to K2,500 when the same amount can be used to pay for mortgages.
During the meeting, the shareholders approved K1 million dividend for the year ending March 2017 to be paid to Government this year.
Representing the shareholders, Ministry of Finance chief economist Derrick Simukoko commended the society for its impressive performance following its recapitalisation in 2014.
“After recapitalisation, ZNBS declared K500,000 the following year , K1 million and this year another K1 million, which shows that the institution is serious to grow its profit.
“As shareholders, we are saddened that some companies despite being recapitalised, are still loss-making,” he said.
Mr Simukoko urged ZNBS to come up with cheaper mortgages to allow Zambians to access loans.
“As much as Zambians are building individual houses, it is difficult to get loans from banks due to high interest rates,” he said.