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Nigerian banks not creating wealth – Gov Umahi

*Assist Ebonyi State  attain its agricultural potential

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has challenged banks in the country to create wealth instead of degenerating into only issues of depositing money in the banks.

Umahi made his feeling known during an interactive meeting he had with CBN Financial inclusion strategy Implementation team at  the Government House, Abakaliki on Thursday.

The governor, who was visibly unhappy over the bottlenecks and attitudes of some banks towards  granting  loans to farmers, called on the CBN to assist Ebonyi State  attain its agricultural potential.

“We will not welcome you again unless you take positive steps to help our  state. This state is  not wealthy  in spite of the fact that we  were the first to give palm and  cement to the country.  But now, how many Federal projects are on going in this state?.So, you have to help us,” he said in a statement on Friday by his Chief Press Secretary, Emma Anya.

He added, “Banks generally have  degenerated to the issue of depositing money. Banks are not creating wealth in Nigeria. Can’t banks come out with  programmes that create wealth amongst the people. Let me give you an example,  a bank can say, ‘give me 13 people from Ebonyi State  that we can take to China to learn how to make shoes and clothes.’ When so such people  return, you can then  give them N5 million each  to  buy equipment and start production. Such people can start paying back with time but regrettably, banks are not doing so. They are not creating wealth in Nigeria. They are chasing deposits.”

Umahi said now was the time for banks to start investing in people and help governments to tap their natural resources.

“We must invest in our people. Look at solid minerals scattered  every where in Ebonyi State. We  are sitting  on money and  banks have to come and help us exploit  our God-given resources. ”

Earlier in her remarks,the CBN branch Controller  in the state, Mrs Obiekwe Obiageli, said they were in  the state to enlighten the  government  on the National financial Inclusion Implementation Strategy.

She commended Governor David Umahi for being a pacesetter in agricultural business in Nigeria, stressing that their visit was centered on how to make farmers in the state benefit from  the bank’s agricultural interventions.

The highlight of the visit was the presentation of the National Financial Inclusion Implementation Strategy to the governor by the CBN team.

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