Managing Director/Regional Executive, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has said the bank will continue to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), take banking to every doorsteps of Nigerians through its agency banking network and its digital financial services and assist industries that focus on exports such as agriculture, manufacturing in 2022. Akinwuntan, who was speaking on the sideline of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) 56th Annual Bankers Dinner in Lagos said Ecobank is well positioned to support the various productive sectors of the economy to make greater impact in the country.
He explained that “for us as a bank, we will continue to support young entrepreneurs and SMEs, as you know white collar jobs is not the way forward in a country of over 200 million people. We will bring banking to the doorstep of the last man through our agency banking and digital financial services. We will also support industries that focus on exports. More so, we are playing in AfCFTA to assist in making Nigerian entrepreneurs become Pan African multinationals. As Nigerians, we must tell our story; Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and as at today, Africa provides the best investment opportunities globally, we should turn our concerns to opportunities,” he advised.
Further, Mr Akinwuntan said Ecobank is also set to explore the opportunities available in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to assist Nigerian entrepreneurs become Pan African multinationals, stressing that as the country exports more it will improve foreign exchange earnings, widen employment base and more support for industries and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will become more stable.
Mr. Akinwuntan also called for a more stable environment devoid of insecurity as a prelude to ensuring an improved production and return Nigeria back from a consuming nation, stating that a steady growth of employable youths is critical for Nigeria economy to improve her production level. He disclosed that there are over 40 million SMEs in the country, assuring that the banks will continue to support the productive sector and entrepreneurial young people and small businesses to make greater impact on the nation’s economy.