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State employees owe Letshego N$1.5 billion

Mon, 8 August 2016 16:16
by Rodney Pienaar

Letshego Financial Services Namibia (LFSN), a subsidiary of Letshego Holdings Limited (LHL), has paid out over N$1.5 billion in loans to government employees in the last two years, The Villager has learned.
LHL is a financial service group operating in southwest and east Africa, which assist state employees financially, through its loaning scheme. LFSN has recently obtained a license to operate as commercial bank but is yet to launch its banking service.
According to Ester Kali, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LFSN, the institution has managed to maintain a good collection of loan repayments over the past years.
“Letshego Namibia has brought convenience to our customers as we provide our customers with a quick turnaround time on loan pay-outs. We give our customers simple, appropriate and affordable solutions,” Kali said.
She added that in order to enhance the institution’s customers’ experience, the financial institution strives to provide easy access anytime, anywhere for customers to benefit from the institutions financial solutions.
LFSN provides personal loans to government officials with different loans, which they use for health, education, agriculture and housing improvements and has detected only a handful number of attempted fraud cases that were not successful The Villager understands.
“Letshego Namibia can successfully report that we have had very few instances of fraud. We have stringent control measures implemented through our internal audit and risk functions to help us pre-empt any operational risks that need to be mitigated or addressed.” Kali said.
She added that the LHL has presence in 10 African countries across Southern, East and West Africa.
In relation to loan habits of the Namibian public The Villager reported earlier this year that Namibian private citizens took the lion’s share of N$4.7 billion of the N$8.1 billion worth of credit issued by the Private Sector Credit Extension (PSCE) last year, while the business sector took out only N$3.3 billion worth of credit.
LFSN was first established in Namibia in 2002 as Edu Loan Namibia and by end of 2008 had been fully acquired by LHL. LFSN then sold 15% of its share capital to a citizen investment unit.
Letshego has registered compound annual growth in customer advances of over 85%, or simple growth of over 3, 900%  since 2008 with its growing customer base exceeding 55 000 at December 2015.
Letshego Namibia’s loan portfolio uptake has seen disbursements to customers over the period from acquisition till date of over N$2 billion (US$150 million) being released into the Namibian economy.
The group has over 268 representation points across its footprint, servicing a base of over 300,000 borrowers and 100,000 depositors.