We’re Not Shying Away From Our Responsibility Over Crashed Mast On C’River Church — Bank MD

Arsenal

The Management of Ekondo Microfinance Bank has reacted to the alarm raised by the Methodist Church Nigeria, Ikot Omin Eno Abasi Circuit, in Cross River State, that the bank had been insensitive to the plight of the church, after a telecommunication mast of the bank crashed and damaged the manse of its minister-in-charge.

In an interactive session with LEADERSHIP at the headquarters of the bank on Thursday, managing director (MD) of the bank, Mr. Austin Agbesoyin, denied the allegation of insensitivity levelled against the bank.

The Management of the financial institution rather accused the church of attempting to milk the bank dry when the church demanded N35m compensation for the damaged manse following the collapse of the mast.

Agbesoyin said the bank has never and will not abdicate from taking responsibility in all its doings and in this case, “it is our clear intention to restitute and fix the damaged property of the church.

“We are mindful of our corporate social responsibility, but it will not be permissible for the church to attempt to milk the bank or make gain as a result of an incident that was completely beyond the control of the bank.

“We were there to inspect the place, we were about doing all of those things before we were stopped.

“It’s not as if we were lackadaisical about the whole thing. We had an intention to restore the damage within 24 hours, so that the minister-in-charge can begin to use that place, but we were stopped by the church that nothing can go on.

“Our insurance company got there for them to assess the extent of the damage so that they can fund it, but were stopped by the church, stressing that they will do the assessment on their own.

“Our intention was to put that place back in shape, but we were surprised by the reaction of the church. We were surprised that they went to the press and supplied wrong information. Our insurance firm was denied access to the damaged property.

“We have had meetings with them twice. As I speak, nothing is happening in our branch bank. Our staff at the 8 Miles branch had just been there directing customers to our head office.

“Apart from the lost integrity, the branch had so far lost about N200m. We gave the Bishop a bill of quantity by certified engineers who were eager to fix the damage within one week, but they refused. What they don’t understand is that, they are unaware that we too had lost something. It’s the reason we have been in a hurry to fix the damage.

“What we are saying is that N35m is outrageous, as a bank we don’t pick money from customers’ deposits to spend anyhow; it’s at the expense of the bank. The only thing is that our property had been insured. And of course, insurance would not just pay N35m to anybody like that.

“They have gone to the scene of incident and done their assessment, and eager to fix the damage, but the church refused. We were ready to fix the structure for them and they said they don’t want it.

“They are unfair to the bank. Even when we begged community youths to permit us leave the collapsed mast to remain there for a while, we were still blamed.

“We are all Christians, that we are toeing this path. This is not what we know about church, it wasn’t so in the begining, we don’t know where all this is coming from,” the MD lamented.

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