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Kenyans set to benefit from power connection loans

01 August 2014, 14:43 Nechesa Chemoi

Nairobi - Jamii Bora Bank Limited (JBBL), Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), and Rapid Communications Thursday signed an agreement that will enable the JBBL to give loans to power connection applicants.

The deal which was signed in Nairobi obligates them to process loan applications from Kenyans seeking to obtain power connection from KPLC under a loan facility dubbed ‘Stima Bora Loan’.

The applicants will apply for the loan and power connection through their mobile phones via a platform provided by Rapid Communications. Upon approval of loan applications, JBBL will issue confirmation letters to KPLC for the connection process to commence.

Under the Stima Bora Loan facility, the bank shall accept deposits from customers only once KPLC has confirmed way leave acquisition. Thereafter, the bank will disburse the loan proceeds to the customers and make payment on behalf of applicant direct to KPLC for necessary power connection.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, JBBL Chief Executive Officer Samuel Kimani said the agreement was intended to make it easy for Kenyans to obtain electricity on convenient and affordable terms.

“All a prospective applicant needs to do is open an account with JBBL and they are eligible for the Stima Bora Loan facility. Repayments will be recovered from the customers on a monthly basis,” Kimani said.

According to the agreement, Kenya Power is obligated to effect power connection for successful applicants within 45 days for service line customers and 60 days for group scheme customers from the date of payment of the deposit and disbursement of the loan proceeds into KPLC’s collection account.

“Our intention to make it easy for more Kenyans to have access to power both in their homes and at their business premises, and this arrangement enables them to do that in a convenient and affordable manner,” said Dr. Ben Chumo, the Managing Director of KPLC.

He added that the loan facility would greatly assist Kenyans who may not have ready cash to pay for connection to the grid, noting that it was the intention of the government and the company to increase national access to electricity from the current 32% to 70% in the next five years.

Dr. Chumo said KPLC will endeavors to undertake timely connection of power supply to all applicants under the agreement and collaborate with JBBL to ensure smooth running of the partnership.

Anwar Hussein, CEO of Rapid Communication Limited, also pointed out the need to have 70% of Kenya connected to the national grid by 2015 and applauded the effort by Jamii Bora and Kenya Power to make this possible.

“‘Rapid Communication is honoured to be part of this agreement that will see power connection go up to 70% by 2015. Rapid has made the connection easier and convenient by enabling Kenyans apply for power and loan facility through their mobile phones wherever they are,” he said.

The loan facility becomes available immediately and will run for a period of two years which is renewable automatically unless the parties choose to end it.

Loans under this facility will be subject to the bank’s lending policies and procedures and will attract interest at current rates.

The bank undertakes to train its staff and agents for purposes of marketing as well as receiving and processing loan applications from the applicants under the agreement.

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