A Leading commercial bank in Nigeria committed to support financing needs of SMEs.
Management of Access Bank plc, one of the leading commercial banks in Nigeria, has reiterated its commitment towards promoting efficient, effective and sound financial sector, capable of providing a wide range of demand-driven financial services, including supporting the financing needs of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector.
Herbert Wigwe, group managing director, Access Bank plc, made this commitment at the launch of finance and logistics worldwide scheme (FLOWS) in Onitsha, Anambra State,
He observed that SMEs are one of the key drivers of economic growth by virtue of their contribution to employment and wealth creation; income generation as well as their strategic linkages with large companies across economic clusters.
Wigwe, who was represented at the forum, by Arinze Osuachala, head of Subsidiaries, Access Bank, further stated that the SME sector in Nigeria, forms a significant part of the economic activities, despite the numerous challenges faced by sector operators, including limited access to finance from formal sources.
Consequently, as part of its contribution to the growth of the SME sector, Access Bank in partnership with GMT Limited, a renowned integrated logistics service provider in Sub-Sahara Africa, have developed a plan known as “finance and logistics worldwide scheme (FLOWS), to support small and medium scale importers, traders and manufacturers.
FLOWS, is a unique combination of import finance and logistics services targeted at importers of non-perishable, fast moving and unrestricted goods.
The platform according to the GMD of Access Bank, would deliver an end-to-end cost efficient management of the entire import process, which reduces the total lead time of a typical importation transaction.
He noted that the importation process in Nigeria can be very hectic, due to several factors and stated that Access Bank has decided to bear the burden on behalf of their clients’.
Wigwe affirmed that serving the SME segment provides Access Bank with the huge opportunity of achieving economic development and growth across Africa, considering its criticality to the economy.
“We appreciate the fact that SMEs are the future and engine room of the economy, and as a Bank we are well positioned to providing the necessary support through deliberate focus and commitment of resources towards their growth.
“It is vital that this integral sector of the economy gets all the support it needs to drive growth and development. The future outlook for the sector is encouraging provided that the challenges are militated against and the present gaps are adequately covered, “he stated.