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Regional News Fri, 7 May 2004

New NIB branch inaugurated at Wa

Wa, May 7, GNA - Alhaji Aliu Mahama, the Vice-President, on Friday appealed to all Financial Institutions to respond positively to the improved Macro-Economic environment in the country, by bringing lending rates down to enable small businesses to grow.

He made the appeal in a speech delivered on his behalf at the inauguration of a branch of the National Investment Bank (NIB) at Wa. The country's economy could only grow if the Financial Institutions supported viable industries with long-term credit facilities to grow, he stated.

The Vice-President urged the NIB to integrate their financial support scheme with assistance packages for agriculture-related activities, as that was the leading economic activity in the region.

"It is even more compelling for you to provide special loan packages on favourable terms to farmers in the region since you have just been voted as the best bank in long-term financing", he said in the speech delivered by, Mr Sahanun Mogtari, Upper West Regional Minister.

Alhaji Mahama urged businessmen and women in the region to take advantage of the Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF) to expand their businesses or go into viable ventures.

He commended NIB for opening branches in the rural areas to help fight poverty as against others, which preferred the comfort and financial safety of the cities.

Dr Charles Jebuni, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank, expressed regret that the bank had never received any application from the region for a facility to finance any project.

He hoped that with the opening of the branch, more people in the region would diversify from contract businesses and trading and look for viable projects for the bank to assist them to create wealth and generate employment in their communities.

Mr Daniel Charles Gyimah, Managing Director of the Bank said the bank had a vision of becoming one of the best five banks in the country in the next five years.

Mr Gyimah said a number of new branches would be opened, while new products and services to satisfy customers' demand, would be designed this year.

He also appealed to the people to utilise the services offered by the bank to boost agriculture, agro-processing industries as well as commerce.

Source: GNA