Alhaji Usman Bello, the Branch Controller, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lafia, on Tuesday identified Nasarawa as one of those with viable economy among the 36 states of the federation.
He stated this when members of the State House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation, led by its Chairman, Mr Philip Gyunka, paid him a courtesy visit in Lafia.
Bello said that “between May 2011 and this February, the Lafia branch of the apex bank has mobilised N16.4 billion from the bank deposits in the state”.
He said the branch has also paid N2.3 billion to 17 deposit banks, which translated to N69 million withdrawals per week.
According to the CBN Branch Controller, the deposits have grown to N480 million per week.
“This shows that Nasarawa is more viable than some other states in the federation, when considering the relationship between deposits and withdrawals.”
Bello said that before the CBN opened the Lafia branch, banks in the state used to go to Makurdi, Jos or Abuja for their cash requirements.
He said the bank had started clearing agency business, pointing out that from September 2011 to date, about 3,570 items, valued at N4.2 billion were cleared.
He called on farmers in the state to take advantage of the apex bank’s Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme and apply for loans.
Bello the bank had granted loans to 60 farmers, valued at N290 million.
“This year, we are targeting 1,000 loan beneficiaries and we hope to clear these applications before December.”
Responding, Gyunka said the committee was satisfied with the activities of the bank.
He stressed that CBN’s activities had changed the status of the state from a `civil service state' to an industrialised one.
The chairman, however, appealed to the bank to consider indigenes of the state for job opportunities.
Gyunka also pleaded that loan to be granted to more farmers in the state, “in good time”.
He assured that the legislature would continue to support the bank to ensure smooth operations.