Ecobank has reiterated that it remains the partner of choice in Africa for export trade because of its unique positioning, wide network, pan African payment switch, settlement capabilities, award winning digital products and strategic focus. Kola Adeleke, Executive Director, Corporate Banking, Ecobank Nigeria who made this assertion while speaking to the media in Lagos maintained that the pan African bank has structures in place to enable exporters exploit the opportunities in The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“Our unique positioning in 33 African countries enables us leverage our extensive network to reduce the number of financial partners and relationships in executing trade. We own the switch connecting countries where we operate across Africa. This centralised switch enables easy integration. We possess knowledge of the local markets in which we operate resulting in un-parallel financial advisory. We offer real-time settlement across Africa and our customers enjoy instant transfers across 33 African countries. Ecobank has a reputation for developing innovative products as the bank has won us several international, regional and local awards and we aspire to be the gateway to pan-African payments and trade.” He stated.
Further, Mr Adeleke reaffirmed that Nigeria is poised to gain from the investment and trade opportunities that the AfCFTA will inevitably bring because of its market size, supply chain infrastructure and an abundant supply of professionals/skilled players in various industries. He emphasised that businesses must strategically position themselves, endeavour to understand the dynamics of the ratification to be able to maximise the benefit and opportunities.
Also speaking Chijioke Uzoukwu, Head of Trade, Ecobank Nigeria, listed the Ecobank products and services on offer to support Export Trade as comprising letters of credit, bonds, guarantees as well as bills for collections avalisation. He said “the Bank also provides loans for business such as import loans, export loans and supply chain finance. In the trade service, we support customers from initiation to execution in the areas of documentation and compliance, working with regulatory bodies and other stakeholders. We also offer trade advisory solution like market information across Africa, trade specialist support and after sales services. We have an electronic e-trade platform which provides an electronic frontend where the customers can initiate transactions and instruction from the comfort of their home and it will be delivered to the Bank. We also have various collection channels to optimise collections for business like in-branch products, Mobile App, POS, Web/ Online collection platforms, Ecobank Pay, Omniplus and Omni lite. The Omni plus has the capability to allow you to make bulk payments and also view your accounts with other banks in a single platform.”