By Ralph Simeon Sesay
Sierra Leone’s leading commercial bank, Rokel Commercial Bank (RCB), has partnered with the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces in rolling out the Rokel Sim Korpor mobile banking platform at the Armed Forces Training Center at Wilberforce Military Barracks in Freetown.
Welcoming the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Professor Keifala Kallon, Chairman, National Commission for Privatization (NCP), Mr. Fanday Turay, representative of the Ministry of Finance and the Chief of Defence Staff, Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, the Board and Management of Rokel Commercial Bank, Colonel Richard Bockarie, Director of Studies at the Armed Forces Training Center, noted that some few months back, the Management of RCB approached the leadership of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces with a view to establish Rokel Sim Korporh outlets across all military barracks in the country.
He thanked the Management of RCB on behalf of the military high command and the Deputy Minister of Defense for the laudable initiative and assured them of the security of the facilities across all military establishments in the country.
The new Rokel Simkorpor facility at AFTEC Wilberforce barracks
Marketing Manager, Rokel Commercial Bank, Madam Mariama Jajuah who also welcomed high profile guests to the function, lauded the mutual cooperation and shared value which, according to her, had characterized the relationship between the bank and the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces.
She recounted that Rokel Sim Korpor has been rolled out by the Management of RCB in line with the Central Bank and the Government of Sierra Leone aspirations to make good number of Sierra Leoneans have increased access to financial services in the country.
Public Relations Officer, Rokel Commercial Bank, Mr. George Spilsbury Williams who chaired the ceremony, noted that RCB immediately joined the band wagon towards financial inclusion when the Central bank made it as commitment and a policy.
He spoke on the partnership between the bank and the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces and emphasized that this time RCB is putting its money where its might is, the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces.
A representative of the Chief of Defence Staff, Brigadier General V.V. Samba expressed the gratitude of the Chief of Defense Staff for the roll out of the Rokel Sim Korpor to Wilberforce Barracks and recounted that the move will help them control their military personnel whom, he noted, are increasingly challenged to receive their salaries on time.
Brigadier Samba continued that the move by RCB to increasingly improve the access of customers to their monies has left the military with no option but to be increasingly attracted to the bank and its products.
Deputy Managing Director, RCB, Mr. Eric Borbor recalled that some six months ago the bank donated furniture to the Armed Forces Training Center worth millions of Leones.
He continued that the bank believes in education as a tool for empowerment and hence they are hugely investing in its development.
The Deputy Managing Director lured the army to support RCB against the backdrop that dividends from the bank are used by government to pay their salaries and also procure military gadgets.
He concluded by disclosing that the bank is already at Daru and other places across the country where they have military facilities.
Chairman, National Commission for Privatization, Mr. Fanday Turay noted that he is happy that the Management of RCB has come to the rescue of his colleagues at the military.
He emphasized that the move by the bank resonates with President Bio’s financial inclusion drive.
Governor, Bank of Sierra Leone, Professor Keifala Kallon thanked the Management of RCB for moving towards financial intermediation and inclusion.
He likened the situation when he was growing up to that faced by the soldiers who would need to go to the central part of Freetown just to get their salaries.
Professor Kallon condemned the British Banking System which, according to him, had completely eliminated the rural people from traditional banking system.
The Governor further recounted that the wealth of the country is in the rural areas and everything should be done to ensure that they are increasingly provided with access to financial services and access points.
The Managing Director RCB, Dr. Walton Gilpin, expressed his appreciation for the partnership between the bank and the military.
Dr. Gilpin thanked the leadership of the military for actualizing the dreams of RCB which, according to him, are tailored towards the President’s vision of ensuring that very good number of Sierra Leoneans have access to financial services.
He assured all that they will continue to promote the financial inclusion drive and that Sierra Leoneans should rely on them to continue to contribute to the development of a cash-less and digital economy.
Rokel Sim Korpor, a mobile money platform launched on 28th July, 2018 makes it possible for customers and non customers of Rokel Commercial Bank to withdraw and deposit monies, pay for goods and services, payment of bills and many more services.
The platform has eliminated the traditional barriers inherent in traditional banking and has ensured that banking services are brought to the door steps of many Sierra Leoneans.