By David Adeoye
Ibadan – Gov Seyi Makinde has said that the state government’s account opened with Unity Bank is for the purpose of saving looted money being recovered from wrong hands and illegal accounts.
Makinde stated this when the management team of the bank paid him a courtesy visit in his office on Wednesday in Ibadan.
“The account is going to be made open to everybody because we don’t want to recover money and have it looted again.
”We want to recover the money in a very transparent manner; we want people to see what we have done with the money recovered.
”We want people to know what could have been done with such money which actually belongs to them.
”Some state’s money being seized from individuals by the EFCC will be returned to the state’s coffers and will be kept in the account.
”We want to charge you to hold us accountable too because this government cannot compromise the trust which the people of the state repose on us. We will never ask you to do any cover up job for us,” he said.
The governor expressed his administration’s readiness to foster partnership with bankers, processors and agric business experts ”because agriculture is one of the pillars that this administration is resting on and that is the tool we intend to use to expand our economy.”
He assured the bank that his government would not discriminate against it because it was not among the big banks, assuring that equal opportunity would be given to all government’s partners.
Makinde urged the bank to expand its network in Ibadan and the state in general so that his government would be able to utilise the attendant opportunities.
Earlier, the leader of the team, Mrs Toyin Somefun, said that the purpose of the visit was to request for partnership with the new administration under the leadership of Makinde.
According to Somefun, who is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, the partnership being sought with the state is not being limited to accounts management.
Rather, she said that other areas such as infrastructure, education and agriculture, where the bank had significant milestones, would also be explored.
For instance, Somefun said that the bank was Number One in anchored borrower’s scheme, with an exposure of over N60 billion intervention fund with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
She said that the bank had also financed over 500 farmers in various commodities such as rice, wheat, cotton, soya and ginger, among others.
”So, we are more than able because we have the expertise and we are ready to partner with the state, especially in the area of anchored borrower scheme,” she said.
Somefun said that her bank had also supported many state governments in areas of education and infrastructure, which, she said, were very key in the Makinde-led administration’s agenda.