By Kefiloe Kajane
The Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) set aside M410million investment aimed at boosting local businesses.
This is according to LNDC chief executive officer Mohato Seleke who was speaking at one of the corporation’s district roadshows in Mafeteng.
Seleke said the government of Lesotho tasked LNDC with finding investors locally or internationally to grant and generate more jobs for the economic growth and development.
“Target departments for the initiative are manufacturing and agriculture. LNDC introduced three strategic business units to develop business in 2017, namely property development management which focuses on building factories, the LNDC Development Finance Unit which is intended to source funds for business owners and the Investment and Trade Promotion, aimed at investing in opportunities in and outside the country.
“Our intention is for every Mosotho to know of the business opportunities within the government of Lesotho in order to help Basotho expand their businesses.”
The minister of trade and industry Thabiso Molapo said that in August the Prime Minister announced that the government of Lesotho through LNDC has set aside M410million aimed at assisting Basotho businesses so the country can prove its independence.
He pointed that Lesotho cannot say it is independent when it imports even a mere cabbage. He called on Basotho to use the Covid-19 outbreak to their advantage and start realizing the importance of producing local products for themselves and exporting to other countries.
“Basotho need to start owning factories, not only foreigners. I mentioned this in parliament last week, so I hope the laws will be amended so that certain businesses go back to Basotho. The is no point of a foreigner selling something that a Mosotho can sell; we need to change that,” Molapo pointed out.
LNDC general manager for the Development Finance and Business Unit Bereng Theko explained that the corporation has implemented three development Finance Unit; being Partial Credit Guarantee (PCG), which aims to respond to Covid-19 pandemic.
He indicated that it supports short, medium and long term loans and PCG business owners will get up to 75 percent guaranteed bank loan paid by LNDC.
“The LNDC as the administrator will charge a fee for managing the funds contributed by partners, unless otherwise agreed with funding partners, the PPF funds will be distributed as a pure grant to eligible projects with expected high development subject to project size, preparation needs and fund capitalization,” he said.
A local businessman and prospective beneficiary of the initiative, Sebusi Matelile, said LNDC has given them a great opportunity as Basotho business owners. He said if everything they are promised is true, Lesotho is on the threshold of a great economic future.
“We know that our government is all talk but no action, but we are going to try it and see if what they are promising us is true. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we really need funding,” he said.