By Kayode Tokede
The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has restated the Bank’s unwavering commitment to supporting and sustaining the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in all sectors of the economy.
In his message to the celebration of this year MSME week, Akinwuntan said he was impressed with the attention being extended to the subsector by both government and private sectors, stressing that devoting one week to celebrating the sector would further generate participation, discourse, and attention to the role of the small businesses in the economy.
He assured that Ecobank will continue to introduce cutting edge solutions to maintain its industry leadership role by supporting the subsector to contribute more to the growth of the nation’s economy.
The Country Head, SME, Ecobank Nigeria Limited, Mr Emeka Agada, submitted that the bank remains the financial institution of choice by the MSMEs in the country. According to him, Ecobank recognises that one of the key drivers of employment creation, poverty alleviation and economic growth and development is the timely extension of credit to businesses, stressing that the bank is a big player in financial intermediation in the subsector.
He explained that the bank had recently organized webinars on the need to support the subsector with capital, including examination of key issues and ways of achieving their objectives through digital financial inclusion, adding that the bank also engaged various multilateral agencies and trade groups such as the Nigerian Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (NASME) and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) with a view to detailing various lending options, harnessing and exploring the various Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention schemes as well as other funding and business opportunities provided by the Bank.
“Ecobank is a major player in the SME space. We have won several awards in this regard; which is why Ecobank is commonly referred to as the SME friendly bank. We will continue to partner with CBN and other funding partners to play the important role of promoting economic growth and development through the process of financial intermediation in the subsector under any circumstance,” he said.
Agada listed business loans offered by Ecobank to SMEs as merchant advance for businesses using digital collection channels, inventory finance for key distributors, shop owner’s facility for traders, purchase order and invoice discounting, asset finance and agriculture finance. Further, he said the bank’s digital platforms such as Ecobank Mobile, *326#, OmniLite, OmniPlus, EcobankPay, and POS enable MSMEs to receive collections and payments seamlessly.
Ecobank Nigeria Ltd. is a subsidiary of the Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African banking group with operations in 33 African countries and an international presence in four locations (London, Paris, Beijing and Dubai). Ecobank Nigeria is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals. Ecobank is a major player in the distribution of financial services in Nigeria, leveraging digital platforms and an extensive network of over 250 branches and more than 30, 000 agency banking locations (Xpress Points).