Some bank customers in Omu-Aran, Kwara, have heaved a sigh of relief as a commercial bank in the town re-opened three months after shutting down.
The bank had remained closed since April, following an armed robbery attack on some commercial banks in Offa.
The bank which only began skeletal services in January 2017, three years after a similar attack on banks in Omu-Aran community, had since the last robbery in Offa remained closed.
The bank’s closure had forced bank customers to engage the services of local money transfer operators in the community.
Some armed bandits had in May 2013, attacked three commercial banks in Omu-Aran, killing three persons and carted away undisclosed amount of money.
One of the banks had to reopen in January 2017, after persistent pressure and appeals from the people of the community.
The community had also donated two Hilux vehicles to the police to aid in combating crime in the area, and to encourage the banks to commence business activities.
Some bank customers in an interview on Wednesday said that they had no choice but to travel about 75 kilometres to Ilorin to carry out bank transactions while the closure lasted.
Another bank affected by the May 2013 attack in the community, had embarked on a massive renovation of its building toward commencing banking transactions before the Offa incident.
The bank had since jettisoned the plan of re-opening its branch in the town and remained closed to customers.
The latest re-opening of a bank’s branch in Omu-Aran NAN gathered, may not be unconnected with the recent massive deployment of detachment of a mobile police unit in the community.
All efforts to speak with the bank officials on the development proved abortive as none of them was ready to volunteer any information.
Mr Dotun Adeyeye, a businessman, described the development as heart-warming and a pleasant development.
“I am very happy that one of the banks has opened its doors to customers, our prayer is for the other banks to follow in that order.
“The bank’s refusal to reopen for business since the Offa attack has dealt a big blow to our business activities,” he said.
Mrs Roseline Adebayo, a civil servant praised members of Omu-Aran Development Association (ODA) and the Olomu-in-Council for ensuring the re-opening of the bank.
Chief Bisi Adeyemi, the ODA President, expressed the association’s appreciation to the bank management for yielding to the request of the community in that regard.
He pledged the association’s readiness to continue to partner with security agents and other stakeholders in ensuring a safe banking environment.