By Abdulmumin Abubakar.
As the people of Ebiraland gathered recently to celebrate one year anniversary of the return of Bank of Agriculture (BOA) in Okene, both the management of the bank, women, youths and ebira community showers encomium on the Administrator of Okene Local Government, Engr. (Mall) Abdulrazaq Muhammad for his giant stride, foresight and political will to build and facilitate the return of Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to Okene for the benefit of entire Kogi Central as well as sustained it operations.
In his speech at the occasion, North Central Zonal Manager of Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Ameh Owoicho stated that the bank have linked 2189 households to financial services within the last one yea, helping them to save money, as little as N500 per week through their well articulated financial services.
He said the bank has empowered 670 persons in Kogi Central by providing them with start-up funds for their businesses ranging from N30,000-N50,000.
According to him, the bank have so far disbursed the sum of N57,550,000.00 to individuals and groups in the last one year and are targeting to disbursed up to N150,000,000.00 this year to improve the economy of Kogi Central.
The bank officials informed the audience that 60% of loans were disbursed to women groups.
In his remark, Hon. Abdulrazaq thanked the bank managers for the confidence and fate repose on the people of ebiraland.
He said Ebira people are hardworking, they show commitment to whatever they do and he is glad they have not disappointed BOA.
The Council Administrator recalled in many instances were he stood as guarantor to youths and women groups to enable them obtained soft loans and today, they are proud owners of many business outfits within the community.
The Chairman maintained that government has no free money to share but the only way to lift people out of poverty is through genuine empowerment, therefore, he appealed to the management of Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to sustain the partnership, take the services to the rural farmers as well as increase the loan amount to N200,000.