Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum says inly two of the 27 local governments in the state are left with banks as a result of the activities of Boko Haram militants.
Zulum, who disclosed this in Maiduguri during a stakeholders meeting new nara design and the exchange of new naira notes of N200, N500 and N1,000.
The governor said residents are facing the challenge of accessing the new notes.
The meeting held on Wednesday was attended by the Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Umar Garbai Elkanemi, represented by the Waziri of Borno, Mustapha Waziri Muktar.
Zulum ordered immediate establishment of branches of the state owned Renaissance Microfinance Bank as well as ICT centres across all the 27 councils to enable residents exchange their old notes for new ones.
He specifically directed the State Ministry of Finance and that of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation to work together to ensue immediate opening of branches of the microfinance banks.
The governor said the absence of banking services in 25 out of 27 Local Government Areas due to over 12 years of killings and destructions by Boko Haram insurgents has left economic activities of the rural areas in bad shape.
Zulum directed that branches of the microfinance bank should be established Monguno and Gwoza before this week runs out.
“At the moment we only have two LGAs with banking services and these are Maiduguri and Biu.
“The distance from most of the local governments to either Maiduguri or Biu is too long.
“Despite a great improvement of the security in Borno, there are still challenges for banks to start operations.
“Banking is a very delicate industry and I am sure none of them is willing to take the risk of establishing branches in our LGAs for now.
“Therefore, to support our people, Borno State Government has to take the risk. I have directed the ministry of finance to ensure the recapitalization of Borno Renaissance Microfinance Bank to qualify it to have the capacity to open branches in all the 27 LGAs.
“This I believe will greatly alleviate the suffering of our people,” he said.
Zulum also directed the Ministry of Finance to immediately come up with a template to organise and ensure people in rural communities deposit their old naira notes before the January 31 deadline.
“I have convened this meeting to discuss how our people in the villages can get easy windows of depositing their money to the bank accounts as stipulated in the CBN’s new policy.
“The Ministry of Finance is hereby directed to mobilise people and ensure nobody lost his money. You should facilitate ways through which people can voluntarily deposit their money into the banks in the remaining days,” Zulum explained.
Zulum also directed the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation to support mobile telecommunication providers towards improving their network coverage for internet connectivity across all 27 local government areas.
The meeting also had in attendance, members of the Borno State House of Assembly, Commissioners, Advisers, Local Government Chairmen and other critical stakeholders.