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Heritage Bank to Pay Back Trapped Deposits in SGBN to Owners


Nigerian naira

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank Plc, Mr. Ifie Sekibo said the bank has concluded arrangement to pay back 100 percent of customers’ deposit that were trapped in the defunct Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria, (SGBN) if owners can show prove that they have such deposits in the bank.

He also disclosed that the bank would pay 10 years interest on such money. He spoke while on a courtesy visit to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Monday at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.

 Sekibo said his team had come to, among other reasons, to thank Fashola for accepting the company as one of the receiving banks for the state government, saying that the bank would like to partner with government in its Adopt-A-School Programme where the bank would adopt a public school, renovate it and brand it as well as have synergy with the state government.

Responding, Fashola urged the banking sector in the country to invest in housing as a viable strategy to build a robust economy, saying that unless a housing system was established where people could pay for homes over a period of their working life, the hope of expanding the nation’s economy to the benefit of all Nigerians would remain a mirage.

The Governor said the onus was on the entrepreneurs of the present generation to be more audacious and inventive in their choice of investment by venturing into sectors where others are yet to explore and deciding to do what others have not done.

“Looking at the portfolio of banks in the Mortgage Sector, for instance, I believe this is one of the places where it must be the lot of this generation to be really audacious, really inventive because we will not build a robust economy without a reliable housing system where people can buy houses over a period of their working life instead of going to buy at the shelf as if they were buying groceries,’ he said

According to him, developing the mortgage sector would enable all categories of citizens to make choices depending on the kind of deposit required and also the lending rate, stressing the need for the banking sector to also recognize “the untapped energies of the small and medium businesses.’

“Well it is good for the Central Bank to put portfolio threshold and all that but, it is also important for banks to behave. If the old bank prided itself about anything it is that it was the cash centre for all the small businesses in Lagos Island at a time,” he said.

Fashola described as abnormal a situation where a significant number of small businesses operate outside the formal economy, saying that “when you have quite a very substantial percentage of small businesses operating outside the formal economy, it is something that I will give very deep thought if I were you.”

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