Ecobank Transnational Incorporated parent company of the Ecobank Group, its Nigerian subsidiary Ecobank Nigeria and Bank of Industry Limited yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in deepening financial services delivery to micro, small and medium enterprises in Nigeria . The partnership has the potential of bringing millions of the unbanked in Nigeria into the mainstream financial system .
Ecobank Nigeria is a key partner in the implementation of Bank of Industry’s financial inclusion programmes for poverty alleviation, wealth creation, enterprise promotion, employment generation and other related objectives. Supporting the financially excluded has been a critical part of Ecobank’s strategy. Ecobank is a leading microfinance provider in six African countries , offer ing banking services to all , including unbanked populations through its digital platform. In May 2016 Ecobank ’s work in this area was recognised with the award for Best Bank in Financial Inclusion in Africa at the 10 th edition of the African Banker Awards in Lusaka, Zambia.
Under the memorandum of understanding, Ecobank Nigeria will deploy its extensive distribution network nationwide comprising branches and an array of digital channels including automated teller machines , - points of service and agency networks across Nigeria. This will make for efficient administration of Bank of Industry ’s various financial inclusion initiatives covering loan disbursements, collections and monitoring. To ensure inclusion of target beneficiaries into the financial system , disbursement of funds will include digitised transfers to beneficiary bank accounts , including simple minimal ‘ know your customer’ self - service digital accounts or e-wallets linked to mobile phones powered by Ecobank Mobile.
Patrick Akinwuntan, Group Executive for Consumer Banking at Ecobank Transnational Inc orporated . said: “We are delighted to partner with the Bank of Industry , a key development finance institution, on financial inclusion in Nigeria . Bringing all the unbanked in Africa into the mainstream financial system in an economically viable manner is the right thing to do. L everaging our unparalled digital platforms across Africa, reduces poverty and ensures the economic and financial development of Africa, which is the vision of the founders of Ecobank.
Charles Kié , Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria said: “ This memorandum of understanding provides the opportunity for deeper collaboration between the institutions to expand access to financial services much needed by micro, small and medium enterprises to scale up their activities and to help drive growth and development of the Nigerian economy . ”
Waheed Olagunju, Acting Managing Director of Bank of Industry said: “ We are pleased to partner with the Ecobank Group in facilitating the delivery of suitable financial products and services to the underserved and unbanked micro, small and medium enterprises in Nigeria . This is in consonance with Bank of Industry’s developmental mandate of catalysing industrial development in Nigeria. Given that B ank of Industry currently serves the country from 17 locations , and in order to efficiently provide effective service delivery for our current and potential customers as well as create jobs and wealth for the citizenry , we shall leverage Ecobank’s wide branch coverage in Nigeria and its efficient service delivery drive .
” Mr. Olagunju said the relationship w ould also promote intra - African trade , as B ank of Industry customers exportable products could leverage Ecobank’s presence in 33 African countr ies , access ing the se market s and tak ing advantage of Ecobank’s robust electronic payment /funds tran s fer platform . Ecobank and Bank of Industry will also co llaborate on training and capacity building for target beneficiaries , which is a critical element required for sustainable empowerment and inclusion of inform al sector players .
Incorporated in Lomé, Togo, in 1988 Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI ’) the parent company of Ecobank is the leading independent pan - African banking group. It currently has a presence in 36 African countries, namely: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Republic), Cote d ’ Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya , Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Group employs over 19,000 people in 40 different countries in over 1,200 branches and offices. Ecobank is a full - service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small and micro business es and individuals. Additional information on Ecobank can be found at ecobank.com.
About Bank of Industry
The Bank of Industry (BOI) that was incorporated in 1959 as ICON Limited and reconstructed into the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB) in 1964 and restructured into BOI in 2001, is Nigeria’s oldest and most successful Development Finance Institution. Due to its sustained impressive performance over the past 57 years, the Bank of Industry has been rated AA+ by FITCH, Ba3 by Moody’s and A+ by Agusto & Co of Nigeria. As Nigeria’s premier Development Finance Institution, BOI has consistently, efficiently and effectively intervened in sectors of the Nigerian economy that market - based financial institutions would not. In recent times, it has rapidly expanded its risk assets without compromising quality such that the ratio of its non - performing loans is currently 3.8% which is one of the lowest in Nigeria’s banking industry. In line with BOI’s commodity - based industrialization strategy that emphasizes adding value to Nigeria’s vast agricultural, solid minerals and petroleum resources, the thousands of Micro, Small, Medium and Large enterprises that BOI has assisted across the country have had such far reaching multiplier effects on the Nigerian economy such as job creation and resultant wealth creation, as well as poverty alleviation. Because many of the assisted projects are also import substitution and export - based, BOI’s esteemed customers have contributed significantly to efforts at attaining national self - reliance through backward integration and economic diversification, all of which positively impact the contribution of the manufacturing sector to Nigeria’s Gross National Product.
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