By Alemma Aliu
THE management of Access Bank has pledged to support the inititiave of the Benin monarch, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Ona Ewuare II to build a new city outside the Benin city which he said would discourage rural urban migration.
The Group Managing Director of the bank, Herbert Wigwe made this declaration when he and members of the management team paid a courtesy visit to the Oba of Benin in his palace where he also promised that the bank would be part of this year’s annual Igue festival.
He said: “We have come to show our support for the Benin Kingdom which extended its influence to several parts of Africa, we are privileged to be here. We will continue to support all projects you are doing for Benin people. We will support the satellite town which you are planning to build in the outskirts of Benin and you can take it for granted that for each and every project that is meant to uplift the people of Benin Kingdom, we will support” he said.
In his response, Oba Ewuare II said he initiated the satellite project idea to encourage the people to reduce migration to the city.
The Bénin Monarch stated that he wants to encourage movement back to the rural areas and that the new town would be fitted with all modern facilities.
According to him, “We are creating a new town so as to open up the rural areas. That can encourage urban-rural migration. There is so much drift to the urban area.
“I have been praying to God and our ancestors to bring forth men that would support and finance this project worth billions of naira and it has become a reality today.”
On the request to participate in Igue festival, the Bénin Monarch said some companies have earlier requested to sponsor the festival but he denied them the request because ‘no company can sponsor Igue festival as it is an ancestor’s event’.
Oba Ewaure II, however granted Access bank request to participate in the festival.
Oba Ewuare II had last year proposed a satellite town to be established at Ugoneki, in the Uhunmwonde Local Government Area of the state.
A former President of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi, disclosed this at a press conference organised by the Oba Ewuare II Foundation and the Benin Traditional Council on the launch of the book, ‘The Benin Monarchy: An Anthology of Benin History,’ in Benin City.