BY PETER EGWUATU
In its bid to boost the Nigerian economy, Ecobank Nigeria Plc has concluded arrangement to set up a microfinance department to support small business owners in the country.
These groups of people constitute the unstructured market and are small entrepreneurs whose businesses are below the range of a million naira.
According to a statement from the bank, the Development Finance Department of the Bank would give out small loans to this category of entrepreneurs at special and flexible rates and the use of identification methods.
Ecobank Head, Development Finance, Felix Oyakhamoh who stated this during a chat with the media in Lagos, said small business owners that cut across artisans, traders, small time farmers amongst others qualify for this special window. The beneficiaries do not necessarily need collaterals, but guarantors to collect the loans.
According to Oyakhamoh, the Bank has dedicated staff in select branches of the bank in the six geo-political regions of the country to attend to customers who fall within this loan bracket. In his words “We are dedicated to rejuvenation of the wealth creation process in Nigeria. Our ultimate goal is to empower as well as provide financial services to the otherwise down trodden, being part of our financial inclusion drive.”
He encouraged small business owners to embrace the opportunity by walking into any Ecobank branch for detailed information on how to benefit from the special scheme. Oyakhamoh noted that the beneficiaries will also get all other bank incentives like debit cards, mobile banking and all other e-banking services that go with being a customer of the Pan African Bank.
He reiterated that this gesture by the bank is in line with its vision to build a world class pan-African bank and contribute to the economic development and financial integration of Africa. “Ecobank is a full service bank that caters to the corporate, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), the micro, and the growing middle class. The bank has something for everyone’s needs; that is why we are the pan-African bank”