IDBZ to approve $79m for infrastructure projects

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Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ).

Enacy Mapakame
The Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) is set to approve $79 million worth of infrastructure bankable projects for implementation by year-end.

The projects approved during the first half of the year, range from residential and institutional accommodation as well as energy infrastructure projects.

The bigger chunk of the investment will be used for tertiary student accommodation.

IDBZ chief executive officer Thomas Sakala, said the projects should be approved for implementation during the second half of the current financial year.

“Significant progress in preparatory work has been achieved towards developing projects to bankability stage. An estimated upward figure of $79 million worth of projects are expected to be approved for implementation by year end,” he said.

Some of the projects include the Osborne Mini Hydro Power worth $5 million, Rooftop Solar Energy — $27 million, Chinhoyi Students Complex at $12 million and the Catholic University Students Complex worth $ 9 million.

IDBZ also approved a $14 million Lupane Students Complex project and Bindura Students Complex worth $12 million.

There are several other academic and medical staff accommodation projects in Marondera, Bulawayo, Lupane, Harare and Masvingo.

On student accommodation, IDBZ has been mobilizing funding for construction of both student and staff accommodation as well as other infrastructure such as laboratories and sporting facilities in the country’s tertiary institutions.

These have suffered critical accommodation challenges as student population at the country’s tertiary institutions ballooned in the past decade.

Mr Sakala said the bank would also continue with its role of managing Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) projects on behalf of the Government.

In light of this, the bank had monitored the implementation of various projects worth $78,8 million.

The projects included several road projects such as Bindura-Shamva and Harare-Mutare Dualisation; irrigation infrastructure development and rehabilitation; dam construction such as Gwayi Shangani, Marovanyati, Semwa and Causeway Dams; as well as housing and institutional accommodation projects.

The bank recently received a capital injection of $150 million to enable it to discharge its mandate of providing funding for infrastructure projects in the country. Infrastructure is identified as one of the key enablers to economic growth. On the other hand, infrastructure deficiencies have been identified as one of the impediments to industry competitiveness.

Meanwhile, IDBZ reported net loss widened by 716 percent to $1,29 million from $0,2 million reported in the same period last year. This was, however, ahead of the projected loss of $2,5 million.

A gross profit of $1,8 million was achieved that was 64 percent above same period last year. Net interest income fell 50 percent to $1,159 million. Despite the challenging operating environment, IDBZ’s balance sheet continued to grow. At $322,7 million, total assets were 71 percent above same period last year.

Non-performing loans ratio also improved to 6 percent from 7 percent in the comparable prior year period.

Loans and advances eased 7 percent to $49 million from $53 million in the same period last year.

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