Rural Economy: Sen Odey Woos Zenith, Access Banks, Others To Establish In Yala LGA

 …provides rent-free building for UNICAL MFB’s take-off

By Ebriku John Friday

The Senator representing Cross River North Senatorial District, Sen Stephen Odey, Sunday, wooed Zenith and Access banks including four other to establish branches in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State.

Senator Stephen Odey

Other Banks include, United Bank for Africa (UBA), First Bank Plc, Unical Micro Finance Bank and Crutech Micro Finance Bank.

Odey made the call in a statement he personally signed, where he highlighted reasons the banks are to consider and take advantage of, which he said will boost the local economy and catalylse commercial activities.

He also disclosed of providing a rent-free building for UNICAL Micro Finance Bank, MFB, to commence banking operation this May in Yala Local Government in order to boost commercial activities in the area, which the bank replied his request in a letter dated March 31, 2021, signed by Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, and Head, Business Development, John Owan and Alice Achi respectively, thus reads, “It is worthy to note that your request is in line with the Bank’s vision of ‘Improving Lives’ and taking Banking Services to the unbanked, and may not have come at a much better time.

“As you may be aware, the deployment of a branch of a Bank is capital intensive as we will be deploying our Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) as well as other online banking services.

“To enable us establish a branch in Yala Local Government, we will require you to provide us with a purpose Built Banking accommodation rent free for five (5) years in the first instance as an incentive for the branch to operate.”

The bank’s request was granted as part of response of banks to establish branches in Yala Local Government Area, and it is an indication that soon commercial banking operations will galvanize commercial activities in the area.

Meanwhile, he (Odey) made it known that the entire Yala Local Government Area is one of the largest in the state, but no bank situated there in-spite of the fact that Yala Local Government has two constituencies, two House of Assembly members at the State House of Assembly, and existing commercial centres like Okpoma, Wanakom, Okuku and Yache that should naturally attract the services of banks.

He said: “On behalf of my humble self and the good people of Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State, who are my esteemed constituents, I wish to make a passionate appeal for the establishment of a branch of your banking the Local Government Area.

“Having had a consultative engagement with a cross section of the elites of the local government in the course of my campaigns, it was a consensus of opinion that a viable commercial Bank is required in the local government area to boost and catalyse economic activities in the area.

“It may interest you to note that in the entire Yala Local Government Area, which is one of the largest in the state, there is no single bank situated there. This is in-spite of the fact that Yala Local Government has two constituencies, two House of Assembly members at the State House of Assembly, and existing commercial centres like Okpoma, Wanakom, Okuku and Yache that should naturally attract the services of banks.

 “There is no gainsaying the fact that the existence of banks in any locality stipulates economic growth, especially in this era where, even the rural populaces are getting increasingly aware of the essence of banking. In the present situation, people from the Local Government Area, especially those from the hinterland have to travel all the way to Ogoja and even outside the state to neighbouring states in order to transact their banking businesses.

 “Indeed, locating at least two branches of your bank in the Local Government Area will be a worthwhile venture. Educational data indicate that Yala Local Government Area has the highest number of schools in the state with a corresponding teaching and non-teaching staff, who are forced to look elsewhere for their banking obligations. There is so much frustration amongst them and other public servants who must necessarily engage in banking to receive their personal emoluments.

 “It is in view of the above and in fulfillment of the responsibilities bestowed on me as the Senator representing the zone, that I, on their behalf humbly request your most renowned bank to establish one or more branches in the Local Government Area to meet the pressing demands of our people.”

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