• Mon. Mar 4th, 2024


Ecobank Nigeria demonstrated its unwavering dedication to supporting Micro, Small, and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria by clinching three coveted accolades at the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) Annual Service Ambassador Awards ceremony held recently in Lagos. The bank’s outstanding performance was acknowledged with strategic awards: Platinum Service Ambassador, Bank with the Highest Impact on Women’s Issues, and Bank with the Highest Impact on MSMEs Accessing Credit for the First Time.

The DBN Ambassadors Programme, designed to heighten the sense of responsibility among participating financial institutions, witnessed Ecobank Nigeria’s exemplary commitment. As a participating institution, Ecobank collaborates with DBN to facilitate credit facilities, credit guarantees, and technical support tailored for MSMEs.

3rd left , Managing Director, Development Bank of Nigeria, Tony Okpanachi and Ecobank Nigeria with one of the awards

Deputy Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Carol Oyedeji, emphasized the significance of these awards, underscoring the bank’s steadfast dedication to bolstering women-owned businesses and enabling small enterprises to access loans conveniently, at reduced interest rates, thus fostering the development of the broader MSME subsector. Ecobank stood out for its highest volume and value of transactions in these award categories.

Oyedeji reiterated Ecobank’s reputation as a women-friendly bank, citing initiatives such as ‘Ellevate’ and the ‘Ecobank Female Entrepreneurs Initiative (EFEI)’ specifically designed to empower and sustain female entrepreneurs across Africa.

Highlighting recent endeavors, Oyedeji mentioned a USD 200 million risk-sharing agreement inked with the African Guarantee Fund (AGF), aimed at catalyzing economic growth and supporting entrepreneurial ventures, notably women-owned SMEs on the continent. This partnership aims to streamline access to credit by eliminating stringent collateral requirements, particularly hindering women-focused businesses.

Expressing the bank’s commitment to female empowerment, Oyedeji emphasized, “We aim to eliminate the rigorous and restrictive requirements for collateral, hindering access to credit, recognizing women as the bedrock of most families and entrepreneurship in society.”

Tony Okpanachi, Managing Director of DBN, praised the awardees during his welcome address, acknowledging their collaborative efforts that positively impact the sustainable growth of the MSME sub-sector.

Left: Chief Operating Officer, Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN); Bonaventure Okhaimo; Managing Director, DBN, Tony Okpanachi; Carol Oyedeji, Deputy Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria and Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Services, DBN, Ijeoma Ozulumba at the DBN Annual Service Ambassador Awards ceremony held in Lagos recently.

He elaborated on DBN’s role in providing relatively cheaper loans and capacity-building initiatives to small businesses, leveraging partnerships with Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs).

The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) was conceived in collaboration with global development partners to alleviate financing constraints faced by MSMEs and small corporates in Nigeria. Its objective is to provide financing and partial credit guarantees to eligible financial intermediaries, addressing the significant financing challenges encountered by MSMEs in a sustainable manner.

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor is a seasoned journalist and the CEO/Founder Belch Digital Communications, publishers of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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