You won't regret patronising Ayade's new microfinance bank - Owan assures

 (L-R) Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, his Deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, Business icon, Dr. Chris Agara and Chairman of the Cross River Microfinance Bank, Mr. Goddy Akwaji, during the official commissioning of the Cross River Microfinance Bank in Calabar on Tuesday

Chairman, National Association of Microfinance Banks in Nigeria, John Owan has said that he has no doubt that those who patronise the newly commissioned first ever Cross River state owned Microfinance bank establiahed by Governor Ben Ayade won't regret it.

Owan who spoke during the official commissioning of the Bank located along Ndidem Udang Iso road, Calabar said that he was very excited that the industry now have a new born baby.

He said 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.

"Having seen the state-of-the-art facilities here, I have no doubt that those who patronise this bank will not regret doing so."

Earlier, Governor Ayade 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."

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.
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