Beneficiaries of the low interest tourism credit facilities provided by Sterling Bank Plc in Ekiti State have applauded the Ekiti State governor, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, for striking a relationship with Sterling Bank to provide the facility to tourism entrepreneurs.

Speaking on behalf of beneficiaries of the low interest facility yesterday at the Conference Hall of the Ekiti State Governor’s Office, where the first batch of 90 beneficiaries of the Sterling Bank Tourism Fund Initiative had their accounts credited with various sums, the President of Ekiti State Artists Association, Chief Ayodele Jacobs, said “I must particularly commend Governor Kayode Fayemi for his interest in raising the entrepreneurial status of the members of the lower cadre entrepreneurs in this state, particularly in the tourism sector. I have been in the arts and craft business for many years, this is the first time in my life that this kind of access to a credit facility with low interest would be deliberately facilitated by a governor, not for the big players in the tourism economy, but people like us, the artisans, the food sellers, the beer parlour operators, orange vendors, palm wine tappers and sellers, adire and shoemakers.”

Similarly, Chief Ayodele applauded Sterling Bank Plc for “being faithful and truthful to their offer.”

He added, “When the Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to the governor on Tourism Development, Wale Ojo-Lanre and the Director General, DG, Job Creation gathered us together here a month ago, we were doubtful of the sincerity of Sterling Bank. But Sterling Bank has proved to be a reasonable and responsible credit institution, which made the process of obtaining the facility almost seamless, unlike other banks where you have to pass through the eye of a needle and in the end; you end up not having the facility.”

Also, a beer parlour operator, Madam Bisi Aladeloye, in her commendation said, “My mind prays for Governor Kayode Fayemi for the provision of this platform, where I can have access to a credit facility with a low-interest rate. It has saved me from the shylock money lenders, whose interest rates ordinarily cause my blood pressure to rise abnormally. This is a saving grace for my business. A lifeline of grace, which I will not only guard jealousy but pay back promptly for me to be able to have access to more fund.”

A bukataria operator, Mrs Olasunbo Samuel, said, “The beautiful part of the story is that we all know that it is not a grant. It is a loan that we must work hard to pay back with interest. However, the beauty in the arrangement of this loan structure is that you can have access to more fund and roll it over and over to create wealth.”

Representatives of Sterling Bank Plc, Temitope Coker and Akin Oladipupo, urged the beneficiaries to be committed to their business and run away from engaging in social frivolities, which may scoop away from their loans to unprofitable ventures.

They disclosed that the bank targets 2,000 tourism entrepreneurs to benefit from the scheme, saying, “It is the vision and mission of Sterling Bank to ensure that over 2,000 tourism entrepreneurs in Ekiti are on board of this scheme. What we have now is the first batch. The second batch is being processed and we shall soon gather here again to rub minds like we are doing now.”

The Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to the governor of Ekiti State on Tourism Development, Ambassador Ojo-Lanre revealed that Dr Kayode Fayemi has a lot in his pouch for the tourism sector, particularly the financial buoyancy of the stakeholders and practitioners.

He commended the Sterling Bank for creating a fund window for tourism and engaging dedicated and diligent officials like Shina Atilola and Abiola Adelana, the lady who tends the tourism desk of the bank.

Ambassador Ojo-Lanre thanked Mr Lanre Ogunjobi, the DG, Employment, Labour and Productivity and Mr Oroya Aladeloye, Special Assistant, Informal Sector for their positive and purposeful collaborating on the scheme.


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