Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI)Plc has committed about $150 million to drive borrowings for Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the country over the last six months.

Its Chairman, Emmanuel Ikazoboh, made the disclosure while addressing correspondents during the bank’s courtesy visit to President Mohammadu Buhari in Abuja, recently.

Ikazoboh also said that Ecobank has raised its capital and scale of business in Nigeria.

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His words: “The purpose of the visit was to congratulate the president on his re-election and to wish him God’s guidance and spiritual protection to continue to lead this nation because we believe that he has the interest of the country at heart and if Nigeria succeeds, Africa has succeeded and being the leader of Nigeria, he is the leader of Africa. Since we are the Pan-African bank, we needed to come and see the leader of Africa.

“Recall that President Buhari had sought the collaboration of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated to institute a special fund to develop agriculture, which will cement its legacy as a bank that helped to transform this region’s economic fortunes.”

Commenting on the key challenge faced by the bank in the area of lending, Ikazoboh said: “The major problem confronting the bank today is the debtors. We have a number of debtors both corporate and individuals, and we need to put in place a framework to ensure that people do not just take loan and not pay pack. Banks are under pressure because if you have a lot of unpaid loans, it means you don’t have enough money to also support other borrowings or other small and medium enterprises.”

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