Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 17 November 2015 | 4,208 times
Vice Chancellor of Michael University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), Prof. Hilary Odo Edeoga, has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for creating micro finance banks (MFBs), saying the development has had positive impacts on the nation’s economy through poverty alleviation and economy stimulation.
Edeoga gave the commendation today in the university during the inauguration and formal handing over of the corporate headquarters of the Michael Okpara Uniagric Microfinance Bank Ltd., which posted a balance sheet of N550 million within a year and empowered more than 600 customers.
On July 10, 2014, the CBN granted MOUAU an operational licence to establish a microfinance bank. Four days later, the bank commenced commercial operations, same day the foundation stone of the bank’s corporate office was laid. The storey building contains technology-driven banking halls, offices and equipment.
Before now, the bank had been operating from a temporary office at the Anyim Pius Anyim Auditorium of the school.
Performing the commissioning ceremony, Edeoga, who is also the Chairman, Board of Directors of the MOUAU MFB, said it was a celebration of the achievements of the fast-growing bank which he said presently has about 4,000 customers.
“As of today, the MOUAU MFB has over 4,000 customers and we expect a rise in this figure with the formal opening of this new and bigger place for its operations,” he said, adding: “It is on record that since its establishment over one year ago, this bank has consciously and consistently stimulated the economy of communities around it and beyond – Ikwuano, Olokoro, Umuahia – to mention but a few.”
Edeoga was full of praises for the CBN for evolving a people-oriented policy which gave birth to microfinance banks in Nigeria, stressing that they have helped in poverty alleviation and stimulating the economy positively.
He attributed milestones recorded by the MOUAU MFB to hard work and dedication of its management and staff, and enjoined them not to relent.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Prof. Bashir Ogungbabe, assured her teeming customers that the bank would not relent in her vision of developing the economy of the grassroots in its catchment areas.
“We have continued to provide financial services aimed at alleviating poverty to our esteemed customers in the area of granting micro credits to low income earners who form unstructured groups of 10 -20 members.
“We have empowered over 600 micro customers within and around Umudike and have extended credit facilities to so many clients in agricultural and agro-allied businesses exploring the CBN’s Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme,” Ogungbabe said while unveiling the score sheet of the MOUAU MFB.
Furthermore, he revealed that the bank was fully integrated with Interswitch and Remita, making it possible for their customers to access funds from any location through transfers; provided customers with customised debit cards with which they could make withdrawals from their accounts from any location while it has partnered with Zenith Bank Plc to provide a co-branded cheque which allows holders to withdraw money from their accounts with MOUAU MFB from any Zenith Bank branch in the country.
The MD/CEO also disclosed that the bank’s last return to the CBN last month was N550 million worth of balance sheet.
He announced the intention of the bank to increase its share capital through “private placement,” while it has stepped up efforts aimed at obtaining state license from CBN which would empower the bank to set up branches in urban and rural areas of Abia.
He thanked all stakeholders for their contributions to the “survival” of the bank.
In their testimonies, some customers confirmed that the bank's services were of high standard.
•Photo shows Vice Chancellor of MOUAU and Chairman, MOUAU MFB, Prof. Hilary Edeoga, cutting the tape to inaugurate the MFB Corporate Headquarters.
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