We Have Put $150m on Lending to SMEs in Nigeria – Ecobank Boss

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Ecobank Group Chairman, Emmanuel Ikazoboh
Ecobank Group Chairman, Emmanuel Ikazoboh

The leadership of Ecobank Group has said that in the last six months, the bank has brought in about $150 million all to drive borrowings and supporting the small and medium enterprises, SMEs.

The Ecobank Group Chairman, Emmanuel Ikazoboh, disclosed this yesterday while speaking to state house correspondents during the bank’s courtesy visit to President Mohammadu Buhari, in Abuja.

Ikazoboh also said that Ecobank has raised its capital and scale of business in Nigeria. 

According to him, the purpose of their visit was to “congratulate the President on his re-election and to wish him God’s guidance and spiritual protection to continue to lead this nation because we believe that he has the interest of the country at heart and if Nigeria succeeds, Africa has succeeded and being the leader of Nigeria, he is the leader of Africa. Since we are the Pan-African bank, we needed to come and see the leader of Africa.”

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Earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari had sought the collaboration of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated to “institute a special fund to develop agriculture, which will cement its legacy as a bank that helped to transform this region’s economic fortunes. 

On requests by the bank for the decongestion of Apapa ports, and rebuilding of the transnational Lagos-Badagry-Seme road, he responded: “We are aware and are working in all those areas, and by the grace of God, you will start seeing results during my second term in office.”

Speaking to State House Correspondents on the challenges they want the President to intervene in , the bank chief said: “Well in our speech, we have told him some of the challenges Nigeria and Africa are facing. Like I said earlier on, if Nigeria is sorted out, Africa is sorted out, and some of these challenges are infrastructure, of which they are working on assiduously. Also we are talking about the Seme road because of West African trade route which we think should be given some priority. And to thank him also for the steps he is taking to clear the Apapa Port because that is where trade is coming into Nigeria.”

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The bank chief added: “The major problem confronting the bank’s today are the debtors. We have a number of debtors both corporate and individuals, and we need to put in place a framework to ensure that people do not just take loan and not pay pack. Banks are under pressure because if you have a lot of unpaid loans, it means you don’t have enough money to also support other borrowings or other small and medium enterprises.”

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