Friday, 9 November 2018

Ayade releases N500m as operational startup fund for newly Commissioned Microfinance bank

Ayade commissions state's first microfinance bank 
... releases N500m as operational startup fund

In his determination to create financial inclusion among the teeming populace, who by virtue of their financial background may not qualify for the traditional commercial bank facilities, Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade, Tuesday, commissioned the first ever state's owned microfinance bank in Calabar,  the state capital. 

Ayade who spoke at the bank's head office alongade Ndidem Usang Iso Road Calabar, maintained that setting up the financial institution was premised on the fact that most citizens who are into petty trading and farming are lowly collateralized, hence "the bank would provide for those who ordinarily are technically challenged in terms of access to loans."

The governor who announced the immediate release of N500m into the microfinance bank as its startup capital and in fulfilment of his earlier pledge to NULGE during a courtesy visit, remarked that "our interest is to make people, bring value to humanity and make them feel the dignity of mankind."

Intimating that the only criterion for loans through the bank is either through ownership of farmland, a market stand or being a civil servant, Ayade said: "The interest regime ranges from zero to five percent, this bank is not for interest or intended to make money but targeted at having women, the vulnerable and the physically challenged to encourage them that there is always a banking sector that can provide for them."

According to the governor, "we are taking care of that critical area where over 70 percent of Cross River population is situated, who ordinarily  will not benefit from commercial banks," adding that, "this newly commissioned bank will ensure you become stable while creating an alternative income rather than depending on the state government."

Ayade also explained that the over 3000 staff of the state Garment Factory as well as local government staff across the state will be expected to open accounts in the newly commissioned microfinance bank, if they must benefit from loans.

"For all young men, as we offer you appointments and create jobs for you in this regime, you will now put food on the table andy with hands on the plough as the microfinance bank will be available to give you loan for you to do that 30,000 hectares of cocoa, to give us over 60,000 hectares of rice farm that we are looking for, or organic bamboo plantation to feed our toothpick factory," the governor stated.

On the need to spread the branches of the microfinance bank to other local government areas across the state, Ayade disclosed that Boki, with no institution or bank will be the first to get a branch even as the groundbreaking is billed to take place in December.

"I promise Boki that I will bring an institution because the area is too big not to have an institution, I hereby implement the promise I made during my campaign," the governor said, adding that, "it is now left for Boki sons and daughters through the SSG to chose a location where we can set up the microfinance bank in Boki."

Earlier, Chairman, National Association of Microfinance Banks in Nigeria, John Owan, affirmed that "we are happy to have a new baby born into the industry as all microfinance banks in Cross River before now were privately owned," pointing out that, "having seen the state-of-the-art facilities here, I have no doubt that those who patronise this bank will not regret doing so."

Cross River Controller, Central Bank of Nigeria, Sampson Esua, remarked that Ayade had made the job of CBN easy as the bank has several packages to offer through the newly established microfinance bank.