The Alternative Bank Limited, a forward-thinking financial institution, is taking proactive steps to combat hunger and environmental distress in Ogoniland.
Teaming up with over 800 local farmers, the bank has launched the Agricultural Community Support Programme (ACSP) in Bori, Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, in collaboration with Global Entrepreneurship City Limited.
At the inauguration ceremony, Gbenga Awe, Group Head of Agricultural Finance and Solid Minerals, highlighted the ACSP’s mission: to fortify local farmers, address food security, and elevate livelihoods. A key focus is also on boosting foreign exchange earnings through the export of processed agricultural products.
Represented by Mr Adelana Ogunjirin, Head of Structured Trade Finance, Awe emphasized The Alternative Bank’s commitment to financial inclusion, having already provided over 800 farmers with bank accounts and ATM debit cards. Recognizing the impact of environmental pollution on the local population, the bank is extending agency banking services, bridging the financial gap between rural and urban areas.
Awe underscored the collaboration with Global Entrepreneurship City Limited, emphasizing an initial emphasis on cassava cultivation. “Our strategy is geared towards sustainability, creating jobs, and contributing to foreign exchange earnings,” he stated.
Dr. Douglas Fabeke, CEO of Global Entrepreneurship City Limited, addressed the project’s significance, outlining plans for a cassava processing factory and an agricultural research centre to empower Ogoni farmers. Despite challenges like a lack of start-up capital, the project aims to revive farming and fishing, crucial occupations hindered by years of neglect.
The Ogoni farmers, represented by Mrs. Mary Eko Joe, expressed heartfelt gratitude to The Alternative Bank for alleviating their struggles and supporting widows and orphans.
With a shared commitment to upliftment, the farmers extended their appreciation and optimism for the continued success of The Alternative Bank.