JUBA, April 26 (Gurtong) – The Ivory Bank of Southern Sudan yesterday opened its doors in Juba.
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The launching ceremony, held at the bank’s headquarters, was presided over by the Government of Southern Sudan Vice President, Dr Riek Machar Teny and was attended by the Information and Communications Minister who is also the chairman of the bank’s Board of Directors, Honourable Gabriel Changson Chang, the bank’s managing director, Ernest Woderif Marbaga, the Governor of the Bank of Southern Sudan, Ezekiel Maluk and the Vice Chairperson of the Business Community of Southern Sudan, Dr Santino Toto among other institutional representatives.
Dr Machar expressed his appreciation to the Board of Directors and employees of the bank for their substantial effort that ensured their dream of opening a commercial bank in South Sudan.
“We have officially opened Ivory Bank as the pride of the people of South Sudan. With this new development, I want to urge the business sector to effectively utilise the bank’s services. I would also like to ask South Sudanese citizens to get involved in entrepreneurship so as to end the culture of dependency”, added Dr Machar.
He announced that the Government of Southern Sudan, through the Ministry of Finance, has pledged a sum of 17 million US dollars to the bank to enhance more profit-generating products in its branches around South Sudan.
The bank’s managing director, Mr Marbaga, expressed his satisfaction with the current progress and remarkable milestone attained by his bank within its short existence in South Sudan.
He, however, said that despite the achievement, the bank was facing some challenges including the lack of manpower and weak security with regards to its lending business.
“Although we have attracted many clients, our services are still below par due to lack of adequate and well-trained manpower”, he said.
He added that most of the bank’s customers are not long term clients and do not have proper securities to acquire loans from the bank, adding that his bank tries to exercise caution when awarding loans to its clients basing on the clients’ guarantees.
The Governor of the Bank of Southern Sudan (BoSS), Mr Maluk requested the Government of Southern Sudan to finance all the commercial banks in South Sudan to enable them meet all their clients’ demands of long term loans that could help improve on agriculture and the economy in general.
Ivory Bank was founded and launched in Khartoum in October 1994 and currently has over eight branches around South Sudan in Wau, Juba, Malakal, Khartoum, Awil and Rank and has set its eyes on Yei, Kaya, Nimule, Nasir and Rejaf in the near future.