People of Likoma have said the absence of banks has crippled the district’s economic growth as tourists and businesspeople fail to utilise their money once they visit the island.
Since Likoma was declared a district a decade ago, it has never had formal banking services.
Likoma District Council chairperson Ernest Gulu said in an interview that the banks will facilitate economic growth in the district because more money will be in circulation on the island.
“Government workers and businesspeople sail to the mainland to access banking services.
“The situation also scares off potential tourism investors because there is no security for money,” he said.
Gulu said the council hopes banks will now come forward because there is power on the island.
Chiponde Lodge proprietor Ian Lemis said the absence of banks is affecting his business as some tourists do not travel with cash.
“Besides, travelling to the mainland for banking services is costly,” he said.
Likoma legislator Ashems Songwe said he will continue to demand for banks in the district.
“It is sad that the banking sector has not favourably responded to our appeals,” he said.
However, National Bank of Malawi corporate affairs and marketing manager Akossa Hiwa said they noted a request to open a service centre on Likoma Island.
“A decision on whether to construct the service centre in the near future will be based on the outcome of the business and economic activity analysis to be conducted in due course as well as the perceived impact of other intervention, especially on the digital front,” she said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :