MUSCAT: Oman Development Bank (ODB) has provided RO 67,796,201 to finance 7,553 projects in North Batinah governorate between 2009 and 2018. This was part of its efforts for development of all the governorates of the Sultanate. These finances are aimed at supporting national initiatives for investment in service and productive economic sectors with high added value, achieving self-sufficiency in goods and commodities, and accommodating Omanis as employees.
Khuwaiter bin Hilal Al Maamari, ODB’s acting director for North and South Batinah governorates, said that the projects, which were financed in the governorate, covered many sectors, including education, agriculture, livestock, fisheries, industry, health, tourism, professional projects, and IT projects.
He said that the most prominent sectors financed were industrial sector, agriculture and livestock, fisheries, and industry.
Al Maamari stated that citizens can get benefit from the financial services of the ODB. It is beneficial for those who are looking for jobs and those already employed.
These loans provide opportunities for self-employment and help in improvement of financial level of workers. This is a major support for the development of the national economy.
Khuwaiter also said that what the ODB provides as loans is lacking in other sources of finance, like government support, and it also provides a grace period of up to half of the loan period, financing of new projects, and information support.
On the success of self-managed projects of young Omanis and how they can be strengthened, Al Ma’amari said that the Omani youth have demonstrated excellence in project management at all levels and sectors as many of them have started micro-projects.
These projects expand in a short time and come in the category of small and medium enterprises. He said that many youth reached out to the world by exporting their products outside the Sultanate.
This proves their high level of efficiency and ability to manage the projects. He added that the area to be focused for Omani youth is finance. Some of the youth lack knowledge on financial management, which adversely affects management of projects.
About the commitments for repayment of loans, Al Ma’amari said that Omani youth were aware of the importance of paying financial obligations, so the rate of default is very small.
On strengthening small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs in the Sultanate, Khuwaiter said that entrepreneurship could be strengthened by making procedures easy, so that the citizens do not waste much time and effort in completing their transactions and dealings.
This will reflect on their project’s efficiency and make electronic transactions popular.
This will also help in promoting the projects and their profitability.