By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
The Cross River Executive Council has approved the sum of 100 million Naira for the licensing of the state owned financial institution incorporated as Cross River State Micro Finance Bank Limited by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The state government says this is to complement its bid to turn the state into an industrial sector and energize the formal sector of the economy.
The government’s chief spokesperson and Information Commissioner, Rosemary Archibong disclosed this to newsmen Thursday, in Calabar shortly after an emergency exco meeting presided upon by Deputy Governor, Ivara Esu.
During the briefing, she maintained that the establishment of the Special Purpose Vehicle is in line with the vision and policy of the Ben Ayade led administration to pursue economic growth in the state aimed at “making life more meaningful.”
“After due deliberation and consideration, the council today approved the release of the sum of 100 million Naira being the CBN’s requirement for licensing of the Microfinance bank” Archibong said.
She added further, “With this development, our women and youth entrepreneurs who are desirous of establishing their own business can now have unhindered access to funds at a competitive rate even at the remotest part of the state to better their lots.”
The Commerce and Industry Commissioner, Peter Egba on his part said the decision to establish a microfinance bank will create easy access for Cross Riverians to, loan facilities to grow and encourage micro businesses to thrive in the state as its branches will spread across the state while the headquarters will be sited in Calabar.
“When the small and micro businesses thrive, the informal sector thrives, the spin-off will be huge employment opportunities that will absorb greater number of our population” Egba said.
He explained that the N100 million licensing fee to CBN was refundable as the apex bank will refund the money as soon as registration and licensing formalities are concluded and disclosed that the Bank has already been registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission, adding that once the license is secured operation will commence immediately.
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