Stakeholders Applaud Ecobank Over DBN’s Awards for Impact on Women, MSMEs

Chief Operating Officer (COO), Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), Bonaventure Okhaimo (left); Managing Director, Tony Okpanachi; Deputy Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Carol Oyedeji and Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Services, DBN, Ijeoma Ozulumba, at the DBN Annual Service Ambassador Awards ceremony in Lagos recently.

By Edu Abade

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Stakeholders have applauded Ecobank Nigeria for clinching three awards signifying its support for MSME’s in Nigeria at this year’s Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) Annual Service Ambassador Awards ceremony held in Lagos recently.

The Bank received the Platinum Service Ambassador; Bank with the Highest Impact on Women Issues and Bank with the Highest Impact on MSMEs Accessing Credit for the first time.

The DBN Ambassadors Programme was designed to increase the sense of ownership among participating financial institutions, build capacity, increase on-lending to Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) and ultimately deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria.

Ecobank is a participating financial institution in partnership with DBN to provide credit facilities, credit guarantee and technical support to MSMEs in the country.

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Receiving the awards, Deputy Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Carol Oyedeji, said this is a testament to the bank’s commitment to supporting and empowering women owned businesses and assisting small businesses to access loans conveniently at cheaper interest rates for the development of the overall MSME subsector. Ecobank had the highest volume and value of transactions in these categories of the awards.

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She noted that Ecobank remains a women-friendly bank with several initiatives and innovative products targeted at empowering and sustaining female entrepreneurs in Africa such as ‘Ellevate’ and ‘Ecobank Female Entrepreneurs Initiative (EFEI),’ which are designed to empower and support female entrepreneurs.

Oyedeji noted that Ecobank recently signed a $200 million risk-sharing agreement with African Guarantee Fund (AGF), a specialized pan-African guarantee provider, stressing that it is aimed at catalyzing economic growth and supporting entrepreneurial ventures – including women-owned SMEs on the continent.

“Through this partnership, both organisations are taking bold steps to enhance green financing and gender financing. It would eliminate the rigorous and restrictive requirements for collateral, particularly hindering women-focused businesses’ access to credit.

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“We have both financial and social empowerment initiatives for female entrepreneurs because we recognise women as the bedrock of most families and entrepreneurship in the society.  We aim to eliminate the rigorous and restrictive requirements for collateral, hindering access to credit,” she stated.

In his welcome address, Managing Director of DBN, Tony Okpanachi, commended the awardees, stating that their collaboration and commitment have been impacting positively on the sustainable growth of the MSMEs sub-sector of the economy.

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“Your unwavering commitment to forging a lasting impact on the MSMEs through our collaboration is a testament to your dedication to fueling sustainable growth. The true essence of the DBN Awards shines through a celebration of sustainable triumph, where today’s aspirations evolve into tomorrow’s achievements,” he said.

He explained that the DBN leverages its partnership with Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) to provide relatively cheaper loans and capacity building initiatives to small businesses.

The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) was conceived by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) in collaboration with global development partners to address the major financing challenges facing Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.

DBN’s objective is to reduce or eliminate financing constraints faced by MSMEs and small corporate organisations in Nigeria through the provision of financing and partial credit guarantees to eligible financial intermediaries on a market-conforming and fully financially sustainable basis.

Joshua Okoria

Joshua Okoria is a Lagos based multi-skilled journalist covering the maritime industry. His ICT and graphic design skills makes him a resourceful person in any modern newsroom. He read mass communication at the Olabisi Onabanjo University and has sharpened his knowledge in media practice from several other short courses. 07030562600,

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