The Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, says the bank will continue to support the small and medium enterprises because it recognises them as being critical agents of economic development and transformation in Nigeria and the world at large.
He said this during the CEO’s hangout event organised by the bank as a mentoring and networking engagement with women entrepreneurs, in celebration of the 2020 International Women’s Day, while making a presentation on ‘Talking points for MD & CEO on funding for women-owned businesses,’ in Lagos.
He said, “Indeed, our long-running support for the growth and development of small businesses in Nigeria stems from our recognition of SMEs as critical agents of economic development and transformation in Nigeria and the world at large.
“While MSMEs have continued to help us to do this through greater utilisation of raw materials, employment generation, linkages with bigger industries, etc, they, however, continue to be held back from reaching their full potential by a number of internal and external challenges which include poor access to funding, and poor infrastructure among others.”
He said Fidelity Bank had developed a strong multifaceted SME banking platform, driven by its tailored, low cost transactions banking offerings backed by the requisite one-on-one and cluster focused advisory services and hand-holding support, and a low-cost, tailored funding from its balance sheet.
“This reality and the need to tackle it headlong has led us to deepen attention on the segment in recent years and institute enduring structures to help the segment build all-round capacity at little or no cost to them,”he said.
“Overall, as proof of our commitment, our MSME customer footprint as at date, is in excess of 600,000 customers across several sectors and the various geographical regions of the country,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer, Linda Ikeji TV, Linda Ikeji, urged women who had achieved and those still aspiring to come together as often as possible to exchange ideas and mentor each other.