Patrick Akinwuntan, the managing director, Ecobank Nigeria, has said the bank’s newly sourced N50 billion credit will be deployed to support Micro, Small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) and small corporates in the country.
Akinwuntan, pointed out that the bank recognizes MSMEs as the drivers of post COVID-19 economic recovery for Nigeria, stressing that additional funding support from the bank would further generate and bolster activities in the sector thereby driving the much-needed growth in the country, provide jobs and support wealth creation.
According to Akinwuntan, “The proceeds of the financing will support MSMEs in the country and is particularly useful for this segment where access to bank loans is considered as the biggest impediment to growth. As MSMEs currently account for about half of the country’s gross domestic product and circa 96 per cent of the total number of businesses, this support will definitely make a positive impact.”
He noted that “As an MSME friendly bank, we have been helping them with capacity building; providing simple and easy access to loans in various sectors including manufacturing, agriculture, creative industry, healthcare, general commerce and services. Our robust digital platforms help facilitate transaction convenience for our clients particularly during this Covid pandemic and helped with the ease of doing business. Our award winning Omnilite digital banking platform helps businesses with a wide array of payment services electronically, while our POS machines and Ecobankpay solutions are widely deployed to assist with collections.”
Also speaking, the Executive Director, Commercial Banking, Mrs Carol Oyedeji affirmed that Ecobank Nigeria has been in the forefront in supporting small businesses. She stated that “The bank has entered strategic partnerships with various development institutions to support both funding and risk sharing for MSME lending across various sectors of the economy. Small business owners can therefore avail themselves of this opportunity presented to grow and further expand. ”
Ecobank was recently named among the top 3 banks for SMEs in the Customer Experience Satisfaction survey conducted by a leading audit and professional services company, KPMG Nigeria. Prior to this the bank was given the BusinessDay award for Best Agric Bank in Nigeria.
The N50bn raised was a bilateral funding and provides stable medium-term liquidity to the balance sheet of Ecobank Nigeria. It has positively improved its balance sheet ratios, especially the capital adequacy ratio and is for a tenor of 10 years.