BY Victoria Ogunrinde
Ecobank Nigeria on Wednesday said the bank’s newly sourced N50bn credit will be used to support micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) and small corporates across Nigeria.
The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan disclosed this in a statement titled ‘Ecobank Nigeria targets MSMEs with recent N50bn subordinated funding’.
Akinwuntan who stated that the bank recognised MSMEs as the drivers of post COVID-19 economic recovery for Nigeria, said 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 him, “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 said, “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-19 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,” Akinwuntan added.
Also the Executive Director, Commercial Banking, Mrs Carol Oyedeji, said Ecobank Nigeria had been at the forefront of supporting small businesses.
She stated, “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.”
The N50bn raised was a bilateral funding and provided stable medium-term liquidity to the balance sheet of Ecobank Nigeria, the statement said.