The National Development Bank (NDB) CEO, Lorato Morapedi says her bankâ€™s balance sheet has grown by 217% in the last decade to an asset base of P1.6 billion. She has been the CEO since 2010.
As the NDB celebrates 51 years, Morapedi hailed it as a profitable entity that has been paying dividends amounting to P130 million in the past 12 years. The NDB is currently undergoing transformation as it bids to go commercial, and Morapedi says the bank is working hard to attain the achievable goal.
The NDB boss also says her bank has been on a robust drive to reduce debts by debt collection, a process that has seen them collecting P56 million last year.
The bank, according to the CEO was founded by the colonial government in 1963 and started operations in 1964, to diversify the economy of Botswana with financial assistance to agriculture to promote food security. Retail and commerce sectors were also added, as well as human development capital.
Contrary to views that being prominently agriculture based could be hurting the bank, Morapedi argues that the bank took a conscious decision to make agriculture their core focus, as a major contributor to food security and empowering Batswana.
While 75% of the NDB business is agriculture related, the CEO says they also fund retail, commerce, residential property, study loans, among others.
She said her bank is not a loss making entity and does not depend on government for bail-outs or subventions, as some think. Rather, Morapedi says NDB continues to be self-sustainable and borrow from the capital markets under constrained interest rates environment.
As they work toward commercialisation, the NDB CEO says they have started implementing a number of exercises including debt management, structure realignment, systems and processes realignment.
She says one of the results of this has been the introduction of relationship managers by sector. The managers work closely with key clients in their respective businesses.
Morapedi says they are in the process of finalising the business model that will be submitted to government. They are also doing clean up to ensure that it has the best resources for the bank to sell and prove best value for government.