Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has emerged the best governor in Central Bank of Nigeriaâ€™s Micro-finance award.
Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday in Abuja, presented Governor Uduaghan with a commemorative plaque for the award. Governor Uduaghan also bagged the first runners-up award of the best state utilizing the Trust-Fund model approach to micro-financing in the country.
The award ceremony was part of the highlights of the 4th Central Bank of Nigeria Micro Finance Conference held at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja and which was declared open by Vice President Goodluck Jonathan.
Vice President Jonathan presented the award to a visibly elated Governor Uduaghan, with the assistance of the Governor of Central Bank, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Governor Uduaghan, in his response, dedicated the awards to the poor people of Delta Statewho, he noted, have embraced the micro finance initiative of the state government.
He said the progress being made has motivated the government to further help the poor, asserting that if widely accepted, the micro finance initiative is capable of solving the Niger Delta problem as causes of anger would have been addressed through it.
Said the governor: â€œThese awards are dedicated to the poor people of Delta State who have accepted the stateâ€™s micro finance programme to better their lives. I am sure of progress being made in that sector and thus motivated to further help the poor the more in Delta state.
â€œMicro financing can be a solution to the Niger Delta problem for it could provide sustainable economic growth to improve lives. Economic growth reduces hunger which in turn wipes out anger which is at the root ofÂ theÂ crises in the Niger Delta regionâ€.
The governor later presented sourvenirs to Vice President Jonathan and CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi with some of theÂ products from micro-finance ventures in the state.
Declaring the conference open, the Vice President affirmed that the commitment of the Federal Government to sustainable micro-financing is informed by a desire to create wealth by aiding small entrepreneurs to grow.
Vice President Jonathan said the key issue should be competence of actors in the micro-finance sector so that it would not go the way of the defunct Peoples Bank of Nigeria .
Reviewing the successes of Nigerian entrepreneurs in various part of the world including South Africa , the vice president expressed confident that the Federal government would continue to support the micro-finance sector to improve the economy.
CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi disclosed that sustainable micro-financing in Nigeria is being pursued by the apex bank through proper supervision of the operations of the micro-finance bank.
He said the countryâ€™s micro-finance policy is being reviewed, while the capacity of the managers of micro-finance banks is being strengthened even as challenges facing the sector are being handled including the electricity problems in the country.
He warned that managing directors of micro-finance banks who fail the first and second test to be conducted by the CBN would loose their jobs.
Representatives of the United Nations Development Programme UNDP, the German government and other stakeholders had in their goodwill messages urged seriousness in pursuit of efficiency of the micro-finance sector in Nigeria .