Ogbe-Ahiara MFB balance sheet rises to N250million in 25 years
• Sinks bore hole for host community
Chairman, seven-man Board of Directors, Ogbe-Ahiara Micro Finance Bank (MFB), Ahiazu Mbaise Local Council of Imo State, Okechukwu Chris Unegbu, has said the bank, which started with an initial balance sheet of N500,000 in 1991, is now risen to N250million.
Unegbu made the disclosure during the 25th anniversary/Silver Jubilee celebration of the bank in Ogbe, and inauguration of a giant overhead tank borehole sunk for the host community.
He said due to the resilience of the board, management and members of staff of the bank, many entrepreneurs in the area now have standard businesses as a result of the friendly facilities availed them by the institution.
He recalled that the bank’s success story started with the initial cash commitment of N250,000 by a prominent son of the area, the late Chief Victor Obilor, and another N250,000 obtained from the National Board for Community Bank (NBCB).
Unegbu said: “We are celebrating the 25 years of this bank, which is the earliest unit micro finance banks in Nigeria, whose balance sheet size as at 31st December, 2016, is over N240million. The bank started with a balance sheet total of N500,000, and today it has a balance sheet total of over N250 million only.”
He also recalled how the community lender was started after fruitless efforts to woe banks to establish their presence in the commercial area.
According to him, soon after former President Ibrahim Babangida, set up a committee to advise him on the practicability of setting up a community banking system in Nigeria, headed by Prof. Magbogunge, and himself as a member, and later the setting up of the NBCB, a licence to operate the bank was issued.
Subsequently an association, Ogbe Community Development Association (OCDA), was formed with him as the chairman, and Mrs. Zita Unegbu, as the Secretary, which later birthed into a Community bank.
Unegbu aff8irmed that thereafter, the bank has excelled in employment generation, empowerment in the areas of agriculture and small businesses, attracting funds from the Bank of Industry at concessional rate, and attracting funds for poverty alleviation programmes from the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese in Alaska, the United States.
The bank also installed two Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) with the UBA and Access banks assistance as well as constructing its own headquarters, a gigantic two-storey building.
Responding on behalf of the community, the Vice President, Ogbe Community, Innocent Oguamelam Ekezie, thanked the bank for the gesture, promising careful utilisation of the borehole.
The event was attended by prominent sons of the area, including members of the board, Prof. Godwin Chukwu, Uche Obilor, Chimezie Charles Nwosu, Denis Ukaegbu, Uche Uzoma Ugwuibe, and A. N. Nwagwu-Nwete.
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