UBA has pioneered products and services specifically targeted at SMEs and young entrepreneurs toward meeting their financial needs, having access to markets and building capacity.
United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has said that it is committed to the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across Africa as evidenced by the increased funding it has provided to such businesses in Nigeria and across Africa.
The Deputy Managing Director, Muyiwa Akinyemi, said this while delivering his keynote address at the flag-off of the 2022 Lagos International Trade Fair. UBA has been the lead sponsorship partner for the annual event since 2019.
Speaking on the theme: “Connecting Businesses, Creating Value”, Akinyemi explained that armed with the firm belief that SMEs remain the bedrock of any country’s economic development, UBA has pioneered products and services specifically targeted at SMEs and young entrepreneurs toward meeting their financial needs, having access to markets and building capacity.
“We are focused on creating value, connecting and facilitating business across Africa and between Africa with the rest of the world. Already, we have done a trade of about US$7.7bn and Export trade of about US$29.4bn as of August 2022,” he said.
“It will also interest you all to know that we match our words with action as we have supported hundreds of SMEs in Africa, especially in countries where we have a presence. UBA does this not only in the manufacturing and services sectors but also in the creative industry and Fintech,” the DMD continued.
Akinyemi who was speaking in the presence of dignitaries including the Governor of Lagos, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; Past President, LCCI, (Dr.) Mrs. Nike Akande; Representative of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Okonkwo Etoabasi; Past President, LCCI, Asiwaju Solomon Onafowokan among others, explained that UBA Group prioritizes capacity building and valuable financial advisory services for SMEs hence the reason for regular its quarterly webinar sessions and training.
He also spoke on the Pan African Payment Settlement System (PAPSS), a centralized payment and settlement system for intra-African trade in goods and services that are poised to transform the payment landscape across Africa.
“Because of our large network and pan-African presence, UBA is working with AfrEXIM Bank through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to promote regional trade through harmonized trade documentation, easier access to finance, and timely and easy currency conversion with the PAPSS platform. Already, UBA is at the forefront of this collaboration currently at six pilot countries in West Africa – Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Gambia,” Akinyemi said.
He pointed out that following the kick-off, this will be a major boost to trade across the continent as it will help to provide a flexible export financing scheme to aid the export of Nigerian products & commodities.
Earlier in his address, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, appreciated UBA’s efforts and support to SMEs which have significantly impacted the growth of businesses in Lagos and beyond.
Sanwo-Olu seized the opportunity to restate his administration’s commitment to prioritizing the growth and development of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to further drive the economic growth and development of the state.
The President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Asiwaju (Dr.) Michael Olawale-Cole, expressed satisfaction with the level of SMEs’ participation in this year’s fair as he commended UBA for its commitment to the growth of SMEs.