Posted by Effiong Udousoroh, Uyo | 3 July 2015 | 6,027 times
The Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo, has called on business executives, public servants, shop owners, contractors, farmers, artisans, salary earners, cooperative societies and petty traders in the state and beyond, to identify with the “viable microfinance banks".
The deputy governor, who gave the advice in Uyo while declaring open a new microfinance institution known as Stanford Microfinance Bank Ltd on Wednesday, listed its benefits as, empowering the lives of clients to ensure self-reliance and enhance economic independence, providing employment opportunities to the people, providing credit facilities to customers, especially small and medium scale enterprises, as well as low income earners.
Other benefits, he stated, include, rendering business advisory service, marketing, technical and administrative support and non-financial services to clients, encouraging the culture of savings and investment for future, as well as grooming and raising the next generation of business entrepreneurs.
Mr. Ekpo commended the Chairman, Stanford Microfinance Bank Ltd/CEO Idems Group of Companies, Mr. Unyime Idem, for his vision business pedigree and avowed commitment to transform the business world and empower lives, stressing that the government of Deacon Udom Emmanuel was proud to identify with such a successful private venture and promised that the administration would encourage such laudable indigenous initiative in Akwa Ibom State.
In his address at the colourful occasion, Idem pointed out that Stanford Bank is an offshoot of Idems Ultimate Limited; a telecoms service company which started operation in 2004 with a paltry sum of N45,000, with a staff strength of two, adding: “Today, we have grown to become a reputable conglomerate. Our business indulgences have led us into partnership with several companies in various sectors of the Nigerian economy and beyond.”
“These”, he stated, include Airtel Network Ltd, Globacom Nig. Ltd, MTN Nig. Communications Ltd, Visafone Communications Ltd, Etisalat Nig. Ltd, Dangote Cement Plc, United Cement Plc, Samsung Communications Inc, Nokia, LG Mobile, Dell Computers and HP Computers.
He said that his vision in establishing the microfinance bank, was to be a “World Class Banking Institution that empowers and satisfies the financial needs of its customers” and to ensure good returns to its stakeholders, “while our mission is to make high quality financial services available and affordable to all. All these are geared towards empowering lives for the future.”
“Our products and services are uniquely designed to constantly add value to the lives of our customers, thereby instilling in them the spirit of entrepreneurship, self-reliance and self respect,” Idem stressed.
The chairman announced to the applause of guests: “We have presently in our employ, 226 staff, 3,200 appointed retailers and 901 sub distributors. We are highly respected in the telecoms sector of the Nigerian economy, as well as in other sectors where we are players. We have grown to become the biggest Telecoms Partner in the entire country.”
“This can be attested to by the numerous awards we have received. On this account and in recognition/appreciation of our numerous patriotic initiatives and contributions, we have received countless awards and honours from various organisations in the past two decades.
“These awards include, The Best Performing MTN Partner in Nigeria, 2013 and 2014, Best Performing Airtel Partner in Nigeria, 2013 and 2014, and Bold Service Award for Telecoms Services by Rotary Club, Uyo, 2013. Just few days ago, we were again honoured with the prestigious award of the Best Performing Airtel Partner in Nigeria, 2015 for the third year running.”
He added: “We are ready to replicate same feat in the financial sector of the economy.”
The proud chairman, expressed his optimism thus: “In a few years time, we shall all come back to celebrate the milestone we would have attained, especially that of becoming a commercial bank.”
Dignitaries at the event included the immediate-past Deputy Governor of the state, Lady Valerie Ebe, The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, represented by his Deputy, Hon. Bassey Effiong Okon, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke, representative of Nsit Ubium State Constituency in the state assembly, and the new representative of Ukanafun State Constituency in the state assembly.
Others were the immediate-past Senior Special Adviser on Investment and Industrialisation, Chief Senas Ukpanah, a commissioner nominee, Hon. Aniekan Akpan, ex-member of the state assembly, Hon. Saturday M. Akpan, Mr. Aniekpeno T. O. Mkpanag, Permanent Secretary, Protocols, Office of the governor, Bishop (Dr) Moswill Umoh of Rapture Trust Ministries, Ikot Akpa Nkuk, Ukanafun, Mr. Etim Inyang Jr. of NDDC, Mr. Nsima Johnson Umoh of the University of Uyo and a representative of the state commissioner of police, among other personalities.
Idem hails from Ukanafun Local Government Area in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District of Akwa Ibom State.
•Photo shows Deputy Governor Ekpo.
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