The disbursement of the loan was the 2nd phase of the Sterling Bank Tourism Development Fund Initiative, a product planted by Sterling bank which and facilitated by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Ekiti State on Tourism Development, Ambassador Wale Ojo – Lanre to make fund available to tourism practitioners to boost their trade and expand their business.
At the disbursement ceremony held at the Conference Hall of Ekiti State Ministry of Women Affairs, Block V, Lot II, Ekiti State Secretariat , Prof Rasaki Ojo – Bakare, Ekiti State Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, who was the Special Guest at the event, said that Governor Kayode Fayemi was keenly interested in boosting the economic activities of all stakeholders within the ambit of arts, culture tourism, hence, seeking a way of opening doors of financial platforms where the practitioners can leverage on low interest facilities.
He praised Sterling Bank for its interest in the development of arts, culture and tourism sector and called on the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the loan adding that it would not only shore up the economy of the state but put them in a firmer financial stead to expand their businesses.
He commended the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Ekiti State on Tourism Development, Mr Wale Ojo – Lanre for his innovative tendencies at driving the tourism sector in Ekiti state not only for visibility but economic viability while lauding the synergy between the Office of the SSA Tourism Development, Bureau of Employment, Labour and Productivity being led by Mr Lanre Ogunjobi and the Special Assistant to the Governor on Informal Sector, Mr Oroya Aladeloye on this scheme
Mr Shina Atilola, Divisional Head of Retail Banking and Customer Banking pointed out that the soft loan scheme to tourism entrepreneurs is strategically conceived by the Managing Director of Sterling Bank, Mr Abubakar Suleiman, to provide a platform where the low cadre tourism entrepreneurs can access fund of low interest.
He said that it was the mission of Sterling bank not only to provide the loan for the beneficiaries but also network their services, craft items and provide to buyers and patrons
Mr Atilola pointed out that Sterling bank is out to empower and enhance the business and economic endeavours of tourism practitioners and stakeholder noting that the sector encompasses almost everything that a typical traveller will need in a strange land
He commended Governor Kayode Fayemi for being pro-poor and pro – masses in his drive at placing the economic base of Ekiti on a sustainable pedestal by aligning it with low cadre entrepreneurs and for putting proactive and positive-minded persons attending the tourism sector.
Mr Atilola lauded the efforts of Mr Ojo- Lanre, SSA Tourism Development for his doggedness and resourcefulness by networking with Messer Lanre Ogunjobi, DG, ELP and Oroya Aladeloye, SA, Informal sector at making the scheme working and walking in Ekiti State
He called on the beneficiaries to be faithful and prompt on repayment schedules as this would accelerate and pave the way quickly for others as the scheme targets 2000 beneficiaries in Ekiti State.
Bola Hamzat and Eniola Eyinafe both beneficiaries of the scheme lauded Governor Kayode Fayemi for networking tourism stakeholders and entrepreneurs in the state to Sterling bank and happy that the soft loan would help in creating employment opportunities in the state.
Mr Ojo – Lanre commended the Sterling Bank team especially Mrs Abiola Adelana , Sterling Bank Tourism Desk for her goal-getting strides at pushing the tourism vision of the bank efficiently to Ekiti State , lauded Mr Gbenga Adegoke, Divisional Head, Product Proposition, and Ado Ekiti Sterling bank Staff being led by Mr Lekan Afuye for the success of the first phase disbursement to 90 beneficiaries and the commencement of the empowerment of 2nd batch for 202 beneficiaries under Sterling Bank Tourism Fund Development Imitative in Ekiti State