Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda says the banking sector has a critical role to play in enhancing development in rural areas in the country .
He said banks can provide the much needed funds and help harness the economic activities of the areas being opened up to development.
Mr Chikwanda said this when he officially opened the 34th National Savings and Credit Bank (NATSAVE) branch in Mpika District.
The event was attended by Chief Kopa of the Bisa people, Muchinga Province District Commissioners, Heads of Government Departments and scores of Mpika Residents.
Mr Chikwanda noted that the opening of a NATSAVE branch in the District will boost commerce and trade in the district which is at the centre of the province.
He said government will tirelessly work to uplift the living standards of the people especially those in the rural areas.
The Minister said government will also continue to support NATSAVE in their efforts to pioneer financial inclusion in Zambia.
And NATSAVE Managing Director Cephas Chabu said, NATSAVE, will provide affordable products and trade finances to the local people in the District.
The Mpika Branch brings the total number of branches opened across the country to 34.
NATSAVE is scheduled to open another branch in Kazungula in the next two weeks.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister, Alexander Chikwanda has advised Mpika residents to ignore and shun violent political parties during the 2016 general Elections.
The Minister said Zambia is a peaceful country and no one should destroy the peace the nation has enjoyed since independence.
Mr Chikwanda stated that President Edgar Lungu is a loving and peaceful man who should be support by the people of Mpika due to the many developmental activities he has initiated in the District such as the new NATSAVE branch.
Mr Chikwanda also condemned cadres from a named opposition political party behind the brutal attack on Vice President Inonge Wina’s residence in Nalolo District.