Zigama Credit and Savings Society (Zigama CSS), yesterday, announced a net profit of over Rwf 5.4 billion for the year 2016.
During a General Assembly at Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) headquarters in Kigali, Dr James Ndahiro, the chairman board of directors, Zigama CSS, told journalists that the cooperative bank’s profit is on course to increase in 2017.
“Today we have met as CSS members to review what we have done in this year 2016, but also set out new plans for the next year. So far, we have recorded the net profit of Rwf5.4 billion but we project to have it increased to Rwf6 billion by the end of 2017,” Ndahiro said.
The 2015 financial report showed that the cooperative bank's net profit increased to Rwf5.2 billion up from Rwf3.6 billion in 2014.
Last year the cooperative bank cut down the interest rate from 15 per cent to 13 percent, to boost lending among members of CSS and their spouses and encouraging setting up and expansion of income-generating activities.
The Defence and military spokesperson, Lt Col René Ngendahimana, said the drop in interest rates has enabled more members access credit.
“Young and lower cadres in the army faced several challenges in terms of accessing loans, but even those who were able to access hardly paid back the loans. When we reduced the interest rate from 15 percent to 13 percent, we realised a huge impact,” he said.
Ngendahimana stated that the move to bring down interest rate helped the bank record up to 85 percent increase of bank customers accessing loans.
Establishment of solidarity fund
CSS has set up a fund to help repay loans left by deceased members.
Ngendahimana said families of fallen members struggled to pay loans while also cater for their own livelihoods.
“We agreed that the bank will be paying the biggest percentage of the loan once its member dies,” Ngendahimana said after the General Assembly.
Zigama operates 20 branches countrywide, serving men and women from the army, police and correctional services. It was established in 1997 with a mission to improve the welfare of military families, and in 2011, it received a commercial banking license from the Central Bank.