In a bid to improve the quality of life, as well as strengthen the economic capacity and capabilities of the poor in its immediate environment, the Catholic Diocese of Oyo has announced approval of the license for proposed Ave Maria Microfinance Bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. Bishop Badejo, Catholic Bishop of Oyo, quoting John 10:10 spoke on the financial exclusion of most people as he stressed how this has denied them basic opportunities as children of God. Calling on institutions and individuals to join hands with the Catholic Diocese of Oyo to make this laudable project more impactful, he assured of the commitment of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo in collaborating with government in its target of 95% financial inclusion rate by 2024 In the same vein, Rev. Fr. Gabriel Adeleke, Diocesan Coordinator of the Justice, Development and Peace Movement, (JDPM) and one of the key promoters of the project, expressed delight with the reception of the Approval in Principle license.
He disclosed that the proposed bank will bring series of impactful interventions in the lives of the people in Iwajowa Local Government area and of Oyo Diocese at large irrespective of religion, race, or gender. According to him, “These, among others are the services the people will enjoy from the bank.” The JDPM of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo and other empowerment interventions among the people, through her Legal Holder, Bishop Badejo, Fr. Adeleke, came up with an idea to float a Microfinance Bank that can give people in the Oke Ogun area, with population of about 1.5 million people have access to basic financial services such as formal bank accounts, insurance, transaction services, loans and other permissible services.