Ghana Will Teach Us a Thing or Two

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By Desie Heita

Windhoek

The newly appointed Minister of Trade and Industry, and the country’s first Prime Minister, Dr Hage Geingob, wants Namibian people to display an entrepreneurial spirit like that of the Ghanaians.

“People there do not rely on hand-outs and jobs from Government. They work long hours, they trade, they sell all sorts of products and commodities on the streets to make a living,” he said.

Geingob was welcoming the new financial product by First National Bank of Namibia targeted at small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The Chief Executive Officer of First National Bank (FNB) Namibia, Leonard Haynes, introduced the product, called BusinessWise, to the minister last week.

“I would like to see that SME spirit of the Ghanaian people amongst Namibian SMEs. However, our people, our SMEs will need financial support from Namibian banks and I am pleased that FNB developed this BusinessWise account that will help alleviate the financial pressures from our informal sector,” said Geingob.

The BusinessWise account from FNB Namibia is for entrepreneurs who want an easy to understand basic transactional banking account. Thus, the BusinessWise account is a card-based transmission type account that comes with no cheque book or credit facilities.

The account is ideal for entrepreneurs who do not qualify for a business cheque account because of background debt clearance, for instance.

Larger corporates with a maximum turnover of N$1 million per annum can also make use of the account, as a secondary account to their normal business cheque account.

Some of the many positive features of the BusinessWise account are that the account holders have access through visa electronic debit card, the usage of debit card for payments, low cash deposit fees, and the easy to read monthly statements mailed to the entrepreneurs regularly.

Payment of goods and services can also be made with the debit card.

However, owners of such accounts cannot make an overdraft and would not have access to a cheque book.

Only signatories to the BusinessWise account can have full signing powers on these accounts. No dual signing powers or partial signing powers are allowed, other than voluntary limits on debit card transactions, via their own individual customer profile which will always be linked to the account.

“We are most confident that this new product will serve the financial needs of our target market very well. It will also facilitate enterprise development and contribute to increased economic activity and job creation,” said Haynes.

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