By Sandra Birungi
The tallest bank in Uganda, Mapeera House was officially opened yesterday by H.E, the president of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
The tallest bank building is owned by Centenary Bank with a total of 19 floors costing up to $40m (sh100b). It has 17,000m of office space and 16,000m of parking space. The building is named Mapeera after the first Ugandan Catholic missionary, Father Lourdel Simeon who was commonly referred to as Mapeera, an imitation of the French term Mon Pere (my father).
The Mapeera complex has 24 teller points and 16 ATMs and it will act as Centenary Bank’s headquarters making it the tallest bank building in the country. Centenary bank is commonly known for its large numbers of customers who are usually in long lines at every centepoint, Centenary Bank’s ATMs. With the new building, there is a high possibility that the traffic at several other ATMs in the city shall be reduced. It has a total of 1.2 million customers so far.
Funding for the construction of the building was generated located. Over the last 25 years, Centenary bank as grown to Shs.140 billion with assets nearing Shs1,000 billion.
The grand opening of the complex was also part of the celebrations marking 25 years of Centenary Bank existence. “The church has done a lot of work in the education and medical sectors and in evangelism. It is time for you to spearhead wealth creation in the various parishes around the country,” the President said at the colorful ceremony that attracted hundreds of dignitaries.
Centenary bank is co owned by nineteen Catholic dioceses which have shares of 38.5%. The Catholic secretariat owns 31.3% while only 0.3% is owned by other Ugandans.
Bishop John Baptist Odama, the archbishop of Gulu diocese and the chairman of the Uganda Episcopal conference while presiding over the ceremony said, “There is enough money circulating in the country to accomplish such large projects. I urge Ugandans to source project funds internally and only acquire external funds as a supplement.”