The legislator representing the federal constituency of Jama’are / Itas-Gadau in the state of Bauchi in the House of Representatives, Bashir Mashema, lamented that his constituency did not have a commercial bank because those who had branches in the area had moved for security reasons.
Mashema described the Jama’are / Itas / Gadau local government area as “one of the few places in Nigeria that is denied access to commercial banking services in any form because there is no no presence of a single bank in the whole region â.
The House, in Thursday’s plenary, unanimously adopted its motion titled “Need to unlock bank branches in Jama’are / Itas / Gadau local government areas in Bauchi state,” mandating its banking and financial institutions commission to liaise with regulators. “Implore banks to open their branches” in the LGA.
The House also tasked its Defense, Army and Police Affairs Committee to strengthen security in the region in order to create an enabling environment conducive to the functioning of banks.
Filing the motion, Mashema said: âAbout 10 years ago the United Bank of Africa had a branch in the Jama’are local government area, but for some reason it moved its branch to Bauchi, the capital. state, leaving people stranded.
“Another commercial bank, First Bank of Nigeria, which was the other bank operating in this radius, also abruptly moved to Azare, citing staff safety and general security concerns as the reason for its decision.”
âThe House is concerned that residents of the local government areas of Jama’are and Itas / Gadau will inevitably have to find their way to Bauchi, the state capital; Azare, another local government area of ââabout 60 kilometers or drive entirely to Dutse, capital of Jigawa state, at a distance of about 100 kilometers for financial transactions.
âThe House is concerned that the lack of access to banking and other financial services is contrary to the federal government’s financial inclusion campaign and its cashless policy.
âThe Chamber is also concerned that the unavailability of banking institutions and the concomitant inability of Jama’are / Itas / Gadauto banking operations have resulted in excess cash in circulation, which has caused a surge in the inflation, risk of theft attacks in Jama’are / Itas / Gadau Constituency as well as other activities affected in the region.
“The Chamber is concerned that citizens, in particular civil servants, have to endure the inconvenience and the risks of traveling several kilometers to deposit and withdraw cash for their daily needs, which puts them in danger of attacks from bandits or avoidable accidents. ”
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