The legal Holder of Umuchinemere Procredit Micro Finance Bank Nigeria Limited, Enugu and Catholic Bishop of Enugu, Rt. Rev. Dr. Callistus Chukwuma Onaga, paid his maiden visit to the bank on August 19, 2009. Being an institution set up by the Catholic Diocese is the legal Holder of the bank. Underneath is the full text of Bishop Onaga's speech on the occasion, as transcribed by the Editor of the Listener, Abuchi Anueyiagu:
The church is always very careful with money. Monsignor Obiora Ike told the story of how this bank started, and I know even Late Bishop Eneja at a point reject this, just because of the implication. And then there were pressures here and there and he was able to accept it, knowing that if you want to correct a system you have to go into the system in order to correct it.
So, if you're talking about people misappropriating bank money the church can show them how it is done better.
Surviving present situation:
Now, coming to how to sustain yourself, especially with the present situation of recapitalization, you survived the first one and nobody knows how the next one is going to be. But I know you will survive it. If you're going to survive that, then you are to make people believe more in us.
The diocese and its commitment to the bank:
In your address you said the Diocese should not just make spiritual and legal claims, but we should as well make physical and strong financial commitments. Yes, what we bring in come in trickles but it means a lot. You talked about our priest not coming here, but you know the pressure from outside is too much. Any day I sit down in the office since ordination (as a bishop) I get not less than three banks coming to ask to become a customer and they make offer, very juicy one oh! Invariably, we will do our best to protect this bank to see that people understand that this bank belongs to the catholic church in Enugu Diocese.
Our best may not be so wonderful, but it is wonderful. Whatever we do we try to tell people to come here. Whatever they bring here is God's gift, which you people give in your different parishes. But am only trying to tell you we have our hearts here. When we did the e-payment introduction it was meant to come and bank here, no matter how small. One aspect of the church is that we believe in faith. I will talk to the priests to begin now to patronize the bank, if they have not been doing so because this is our thing.
This bank belongs to us we shall do our best to make sure the staff survives. You are workers and you're also part of the church. But please remember... I put it in prayer that it is a gospel informed institution and you should keep peoples money very well. But at the same time there is this virtue which we admire so much. That is a sister institution in cologne, Germany, pax Bank. The Pax Bank when you come in there you may not find much but the way people there receive you will show you're in a banking institution.
There is another dimension to it. Another dimension is that there has to be gospel preaching through your services here. Don't talk only money, money, money? Talk of behavior, behavior, behavior. Behavior, I stretch it very much. Let people now say, when we come to umuchinemere we're treated like human beings, and not just treated like any other bank where people are just going all out for target. This issue of setting target and meeting target is killing the banking sector. People are no more thinking of how to serve, but rather they're thinking of how to make money at all cost.
Please let it not come into this place. I know you're within a system where what they do outside influence our own bank. But what I wouldn't like is for us to have this object relationship in person. That is, you're treating person as object, simply because you want to make your money. Please don't do it! Let anybody who comes in here to put in just one kobo feel he has come into his home, not just where his money is, but where people treat him or her as a human being.
This is one of biggest preaching we have to do. Let us not talk too much of money and forget the human aspect of that money. That money is meant to serve human beings and not human beings to serve money. Let no lay faithful come here and feel the way they treat people here they're not customer friendly. So, I will like us to emphasize that much. Let that aspect of our faith be reflected in your services. Please de-emphasize money when it comes to dealing with human beings.
I know somebody who comes in with
N10m will of course be treated better than a person who comes in with N25. Naturally, all the managers here will run around the N10 million man. But remember that N25 will add to what you have.
GROWTH: You're wonderful. We shall do our best to promote it. But please we are Catholics. Time are now when we're beginning to question whether we're really Catholics, not because we own here but when I see the behavior I say, can I as the Legal Holder, Spiritual Leader of this very bank boast that the behavior here reflects Catholicism. That is where I feel I can lay claim. We're not billionaire churches; we're people dealing with priests and human beings. Please, whoever that is working here or in any of the branches should remember that.
I will tell you, if we eventually notice there is some kind of dehumanization here I will advise the priests to pull out, so that even that little one will go; even the big one. You know it is not the big one that matters, but it is what we say on the pulpit that matters a great deal. But we can't kill ourselves and we can't fight ourselves. So, as much as possible I will advise that here humanity reigns, Love reigns. Person counts, not just money. We shall as much as possible do our best to promote here.
CONCLUSION: I thank you all for organizing this very big gathering. I tell you we are one. And may we continue to be one through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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