By Babajide Komolafe
The twin issues of poverty eradication and infrastructure development will continue to top the priority of Oceanic Bank International Plc in the task of growing Nigeriaâ€™s economy and building a self-reliant nation.
Group Managing Director of the bank, Dr. Cecilia Ibru, who gave this assurance during the commissioning of the Ijebu-Ode branch of the bank, said all efforts of the bank as a corporate entity has been focused on how to reduce poverty and build infrastructure that supports the growth of the nationâ€™s economy.
Dr. Ibru argued that the only way of curtailing the economic doldrums facing the nation is for business establishments to compliment and partner government in the provision of public infrastructure, if the nation is to achieve its aim of being among the top 20 economies in the world.
She stated that the bank had entered into partnership with various state governments in the area of infrastructure financing as well as disbursement of micro credits to entrepreneurs and other businesses to help them grow and contribute to the economic development of the country.
She recalled the successes recorded in the partnership among the bank, CBN and the Delta State government through the novel product called the Delta Oceanic Micro Credit Account (DOMSA), a product through which so many entrepreneurs have been funded to acquire new technologies for production.
She also noted the partnership arrangement the bank signed with the Ogun state government to provide affordable houses, adding that the bank was already constructing the Ibara Housing Estate for the people of the state.
Dr. Ibru assured that the bank would do all it can to join forces with the Awujaleâ€™s palace to strengthen the poverty alleviation programme and make the people to be more economic self-reliant.
She expressed satisfaction that the bank had enjoyed the patronage of all segment of the population due mainly to its deployment of people oriented services and products tailored to suit the individual needs of the customers.
The bank boss explained that the decision of the bankâ€™s management to have branches in every part of the country was part of its expansion drive and in furtherance of its objective of being the number one neighbourhood bank that is within the reach of every bank customer.
Meanwhile, a team of the Obas and Chiefs, led by the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, at the commissioning ceremony has lauded of the management of Oceanic Bank International for its focus and deftness which he said has given the financial institution an edge in the industry.
The elated monach called for a partnership from the bank with the people of Ijebuland in the area of micro credit scheme which his Palace has been administering as a poverty alleviation strategy.
He said â€œOceanic bank must partner with us on the poverty reduction programme we run here, that is the Ijebu Development Board on Poverty Reduction. They should comeÂ here because the recovery rate is very impressive.