The Enugu state government is to collaborate with a leading microfinance bank in the state, Umuchinemere Pro-credit Micro Finance Bank (UPMFB), in the management of the government's (micro) small and medium credit fund which has been established by Law of the state.
The state governor, Sullivan Chime, who was represented by the state commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Clement Okwor, gave out the above information at the bank's Annual General Meeting.
A press release signed by the Head, Public/Media Relations Unit of the bank, Sir Abuchi Anueyiagu, said the governor explained that Umuchinemere Pro-credit Micro Finance Bank's widely acclaimed discipline, prudence, maintenance of rule of Law and good corporate governance in financial management, especial in the management of his government's Taxi Cabs and Bus scheme was the reason for choosing the bank to collaborate with the government in the management of the small and medium credit fund.
He said: "The government intends to partner with this bank in many areas, especially with the new constituted small and medium credit fund which has been established by law by Enugu state government."
The commissioner said governor Chime was very confident and happy that his government was partnering with UPMFB in its poverty eradication programme through the Taxi Cabs and Bus scheme, which he acknowledged as one of the most successful programmes of the government.
Expressing his delight over what he noted as the giant strides the bank made in terms of profitability, public acceptance and in terms of growth, governor Chime declared that other states were now copying the state government's Taxi Cab and Bus scheme "because it is one of our most successful poverty eradication programmes.
They have been coming here to learn our magic and I am bold to say here that the magic rests on the management and staff of Umuchinemere Pro-credit Micro Finance Bank, the way they have pioneered the programme and the way they have maintained a lot of financial discipline and have been guided by the rule of Law in banking."
He said his government's introduction of the credit fund was based on its awareness of the way the bank had made the lives of a large number of people better in the state, expressing confident that with the bank's outlets all over the state the fund will be an easy method.
In his statement, chairman of the bank, Monsignor Prof. Obiora Ike, said the bank made significant and commendable progress in the year under review (2009), posting a 10 kobo Bonus Issue for every single share.
Prof. Ike noted that UPMFB has strong ethical foundations and has continued to increase the mechanism for relationship among shareholders, the Board and Management by improving the concept of stakeholders in the bank.
He said: "The bank tried to keep a clean bill of records in its corporate governance, with policies and regulations put in place to check and balance any possible acts capable of diminishing the enviable track record of the bank", stressing that the bank's tradition of maintaining best practices in corporate governance and best-in-class quality services and products was evident.
In his speech, the Bishop of Enugu Catholic Diocese, Rt. Rev. Dr. Callistus Onaga, said UPMFB was a gospel-informed bank belonging to the diocese and that they would do everything humanly possible to help it grow and ensure that it survived.
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