Rivers State government has reaffirmed its determination to bring about economic growth, wealth creation and prosperity, by leveraging on the opportunities accruable from Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs.
The Deputy Governor, Dr Mrs Harry Banigo, made the reaffirmation yesterday in Port Harcourt, at the event to mark the official opening of the Mile 1, branch office of the ACCION Microfinance Bank, MFB.
“Our administration is therefore, poised to strengthen the Rivers State Micro-Finance Agency, to provide soft loans and funding for cooperatives and small business, provide technical training, business advisory services and support for SME entrepreneurs, to improve business, empower small business owners, through government contracts and direct patronage of their goods and services, and establish business incubation centres, to provide small business with a supportive environment, for sharing resources and driving growth.”
Represented by her Senior Special Adviser on Administration, Barr Gilbert Nria, the deputy governor said the Rivers state government, under Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, was further committed to open, inclusive and accountable governance, with a view to building a truly united state, secure and prosperous, with boundless opportunities for everyone.
She urged all in the state to peacefully pursue his/her business goals and actualise his/her potentials in dignity and happiness, noting that the government was working towards the realisation of a balanced development and an enhanced quality of life for the people.
In her speech, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of the bank, Mrs Bunmi Lawson, stated that ACCION Micro-Finance bank Ltd was a leading micro finance bank in the country, incorporated in May 2006.
Mrs Lawson noted that their mission was to empower micro- entrepreneurs and low income owners, by providing financial services, in a sustainable, ethical and profitable manner.
According to her, “the branch which we are officially opening today is the first branch of ACCION Micro-Finance Bank in Rivers State, in line with our national expansion drive, and the 31st branch of our bank. The Mile 1 branch has a unique target market of micro entrepreneurs in the Mile 1 community. We will enforce our bank’s capacity to serve our customers, in line with our mission and vision.”
Making his contribution also, the chairman of National Association of Micro-Finance Banks, Peter A. Oyanna, regretted that most finance banks in the state had folded up because of the inability of loan beneficiaries to offset their loans as and when due, as collateral were not needed.
“Please do not fold this one because they do not ask for collaterals, but guarantors, and note that the money you collect is not free money, but refundable loans. You therefore, need financial discipline to be able to save and pay back,” Mr Oyanna admonished.
Port Harcourt traders were in their numbers and opened savings accounts with the sum of N500 with the bank.

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