Techiman (B/A), Sept. 1, GNA- Nana Kwadwo Seinti, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister on Tuesday appealed to the management of the National Investment Bank (NIB) to support medium and small-scale operators in the processing industry to increase agricultural output and food security. He commended the Bank for strengthening the country's industrial base, especially the President's Special Initiatives (PSIs), which he said had yielded "tremendous results".
The Regional Minister was addressing a durbar of chiefs and people to mark the commissioning of a branch of the bank at Techiman.
He said it was gratifying to note that the bank early this year, paid a dividend of 10 billion cedis to government and declared 32.88 billion cedis as profit after tax last year.
"The bank's fixed assets has also increased three fold from 297 billion cedis in 2001 to 1.014 billion cedis in 2003", he said. Nana Seinti attributed the transformation of the NIB to government's financial sector reform programme and the untiring efforts of the Board, Management and the staff.
The Regional Minister explained that by opening a branch at Techiman, it would help to curb armed robbery of traders and Businessmen, who travelled to the commercial towns to transact business.
Mr Daniel Charles Gyimah, Managing Director of NIB said the bank would offer new financial and economic opportunities for people in construction, timber and agro-processing industries.
He said it would also help transform local industries in the area, noting that the challenge facing the NIB was to remove barriers to attract more customers.
The Managing Director said the Techiman branch would also be networked to facilitate the bank's cash management system.
Earlier Dr. Charles Jebuni, Chairman of the bank's board of directors, said it was imperative for the financial industry to be more innovative in satisfying customers' needs to enhance the volume of business, as interest rates fell while the economy improved.
He noted that with the introduction of universal banking, competition among financial services had become very keen but the NIB had mapped out appropriate strategies to bring its services to the door-steps of customers.
Dr Jebuni said NIB believed that customers played a key role For the survival of the bank and had put reliable staff at the frontline and supervisory positions to ensure that customers were well catered for.