Liberia: Ecobank, the Only Commercial Bank in the Lofa, Announces Closure

Voinjama — Residents of Lofa County have expressed their disappointment at the announcement from Ecobank to close its Voinjama branch on February 7, 2019 and have called on the bank's management asking them to reconsider their decision.

In a statement Thursday, the bank said, "The Management of Ecobank Liberia Limited wishes to inform its numerous customers, that beginning February 7, 2019 its Voinjama Branch will be closed to the public.

Customers are encouraged to visit any Ecobank Xpress Point in the county to carry out their transactions. However, customers can make use of the digital service - Ecobank Mobile App available in the Google Play or app for speedy online transactions."

Ecobank is the only functional bank in Lofa County. The closure of the bank next month means that customers will have to travel to Gbarnga or Ganta - which is six or seven hours respectively.

"A big loss to Lofa"

Residents of Lofa say the proposed closure of the bank will be a big loss and could affect businesses, as well as vulnerable people in the county.

Armah Kimba, a health worker, told FrontPage Africa that it will be less important to work in Lofa County without any bank. "I usually get my salary through the bank. Does it mean that we will be going Ganta or Gbarnga to access our county?"

Continuing, he added: "If Ecobank leaves it will be bad for citizens of Lofa County."

John J. Ballah, a resident of Voinjama, lamented the proposed closure of the bank. "People coming to to go to the bank often window shop in Voinjama too, so it will definitely affect our sales," he said.

Sumowou Jallah, a businessman in Foya, told FrontPageAfrica that the news about the bank's pending closure is worrisome. "I am worrying about how citizens will cope with this?"

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