Banks in Omu-Aran, Kwara to re-open one month after robbery attack

Three banks were robbed and three people killed on May 14.

Some commercial banks in Omu-Aran, Kwara, that were closed for more than one month after an armed robbery attack may re-open to customers soon.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that armed robbers, had on May 14, raided three banks in the town, killing three persons and escaping with unspecified amount of money.

Checks in Omu-Aran revealed that one of the banks had commenced renovation of the damaged portion of the bank building, especially the broken doors and vaults.

The workers were seen putting finishing touches to the building as early as 8.00 a.m. to commence banking transactions probably by next week.

An official of one of the banks said, on condition of anonymity, that the banks decided to reopen for business after assurances of adequate protection and security.

“We have had series of meetings with relevant stakeholders on the way forward after the robbery incident and these had yielded positives results.

“I think the fruitful out-come of the meetings resulted in the renovation work you are witnessing now to facilitate commencement of banking transactions,” the official said.

The Secretary, Omu-Aran Development Association, Bidemi Olawuyi, while reacting to the development, said the association had taken some measures to assist law enforcement agencies.

“We are not resting on our oars in assisting security agencies including the town’s vigilante group to end this ugly trend.

“More importantly, we are already in discussion with the banks’ management in efforts to woo them back to continue their businesses in the interest of the people,” Mr. Olawuyi said.

He said that some new generation banks had also signified intention to open their branches in the town. The closure of the banks had forced residents to travel to Ilorin, the state capital, for banking transactions.

Some residents also travelled to the towns in Ekiti State, a distance of about 50 kilometres.

The closure of the banks has also adversely affected business and commercial activities in the town.

Meanwhile, residents of the town have commended the readiness of the banks to reopen for business, saying that their decision would alleviate the suffering of the people.

Emmanuel Ilesanmi, Business Manager, Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Omu-Aran district, said that the banks’ reopening would assist in meeting the company’s revenue target.

“Majority of our customers have capitalised on the unfortunate development and refused to pay their bills, but with the positive turn of events, things would change for better.

“Some customers have been using their inability to get money from banks as excuse for not paying their bills,” Mr. Ilesanmi said.

Awawu Popoola, a market leader in Omu-Aran, said that the re-opening would help boost commercial activities which had been experiencing some lull since the closure of the banks.

“Majority of our members have been thrown out of business due to losses incurred as a result of poor sales occasioned by closure of banks in the town.

“The fear of attack on banks in Omu-Aran has also driven away some potential buyers to more secured markets in other towns,” Mr. Popoola said.


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