INAUGURATES ABIA SME MICROFINANCE BANK IN ABA
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has officially opened the Abia SME Microfinance Bank in Aba as well as flaged-off a Ten Million Naira Micro Credit Scheme for low income traders in the State.
Speaking at the event at No 17B Ngwa Road Aba, Governor Ikpeazu said that the Ten Million Naira Credit Scheme is specifically for the ordinary traders and recommended that six out of every ten beneficiaries in the first phase of the credit scheme be women.
The Governor said that the idea of the Bank is to create millionaires in the State through the Small and Medium Scale Entreprise. He stated that his expectation is that the bank would target at empowering 100 persons each month and urged all to open accounts with the bank.
According to Governor Ikpeazu, Abia Government wants to save traders from long processes of collateral from commercial banks, explaining that the only collateral needed to benefit from the scheme are ideas from the prospective beneficiaries as government is bringing financing to meet ideas.
The State Chief Executive disclosed that the Abia SME Bank is will create an opportunity for the people of the State to access available funds from the Federal Government, the CBN, Bank of Industry among others. He assured that he would continue to fund SME in the State stressing that the location of the bank is strategic for traders in Aba.
Governor Ikpeazu, who used the opportunity to inform that the first set of Made in Aba shoes would roll out from the newly installed automated shoe factory in few weeks called on Aba residents to leverage on the constant electric power in Ariaria International Market to better their lots.
Welcoming people to the event, the
Commissioners for SME, Mr. Onyema Wachuku, his Trade & Investment counterpart, Dr. Cosmas Ndukwe and that of Industry, Chief (Mrs.) Uwaoma Olenwemgwa said Abia State believes in the entrepreneurs and is ready to support them in various ways, including establishment of the bank, specially dedicated to the Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs.
They informed that the present administration is laying strong foundation for the greater economic development of the State. They assured the people that the Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu led administration would assist them in ensuring that they get soft loans to boost their businesses.
In their separate speeches, the Chairman, Abia SME Microfinance Bank Implementation Committee, Dr. Eme Okoro and Coordinator, Implementation Committee, Mr. Gab Igboko described the bank as the people’s bank, saying it is unparalleled in the history of economic development of the State. They said the bank is a catalyst to revitalize the economy of the State and thanked the Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, CBN and Keystone Bank officials among others for their support to the Technical Committee.
Dr. Okoro and Mr. Igboko appreciated the Governor for his foresight in initiating and bringing the vision to reality and requested that the bank be moved to a permanent site as it would help to solidify the achievement made in establishing the bank.
Also speaking, the partners of the State government including the representive of the Bank of Industry Mr. Anthony Aligo, representative of CBN, Mr. Celsus Hagler and that of of Keystone Bank, Mr. Austin Akuma said the bank would help channel funds made for SME for Abia people seamlessly.
They assured of more partnership with the State government, promising to remain committed in towards that and congratulated the Governor on the feat achieved.
Contributing, Mr. Clinton Ebere, on behalf of Aba stakeholders, the President Aba Landlords Association, Chief A. E Udeigbo and President Aba Chamber of Commerce, Chief Lawrence Obeta and Chief Jerry Kalu of the Aba Sports Club thanked the Governor for opening the bank. They urged people, especially traders to open accounts there so that soft loans would be given to them.
Highlight of the event was the handover of vehicles to the management of the bank by the Governor, Dr Ikpeazu.
The Governor also opened an account for himself and also sponsored the opening of accounts for 100 small traders.
Onyebuchi Ememanka, Esq
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.
16th December 2019.