GOVERNOR Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has inaugurated the state-owned Izon-Ibe Microfinance Bank, IMB, with a call on investors to transact business with the bank to promote self reliance and the creation of wealth.
Dickson, who opened an account with the bank with a deposit of N100,000 shortly after declaring it open, said the financial institution was established to promote entrepreneurship through direct and easy access to start-up capital for small and medium scale businesses.
He urged people of the state, particularly traders and civil servants working in the rural areas, to open accounts with the bank. The bank, it was disclosed, has branches in the headquarters of all the local government areas to avoid the cost of travelling to Yenagoa, state capital, for banking services.
The governor said government would make N200 million available to the bank, N25 million per local government area, to enable the IMB offer loan facilities to willing small and medium scale entrepreneurs to borrow and do business.
While congratulating Ifiemi Ikpaikpai, managing director of the bank, and his team for their hard work in bringing the initiative to reality, Dickson said that the products already developed by the bank, some of which include, Borrow as You Save, Staff Salary Advance, Thrift Deposit Account and Agric/Allied Loans, would complement the government’s efforts at creating sustainable wealth in the state.
Dickson said: “They should set up a special scheme for the welfare and benefit of civil servants. If they open an account, create a product for them. And for every civil servant who open an account, I hereby direct that this bank to ensure that in the event of any delay in salaries, you will process an advance for that civil servant with minimum delay and restriction.”
Earlier in his welcome address, Ikpaikpai said that, the bank which has an expansive branch network and rural spread, would serve as a strong catalyst to boost production in critical sectors of agriculture, commerce, healthcare and education.
According to him, the idea of establishing the bank, a pioneer state-owned microfinance bank in the Niger Delta region, was mooted in 2013, adding that apart stimulating growth in the local economy, activities of the bank would also help to reduce the dependency syndrome that has stifled creative thinking in youths.
— Nov 2, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT