MD, Entrprise Bank, Mallam Ahmed Kuru
By Obinna Chima
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Bank Limited, Mallam Ahmed Kuru, has reiterated the bank’s commitment towards the support of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country, saying SMEs are critical to the country’s development.
Kuru, who spoke in Lagos while receiving the leadership of the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), led by the association’s Deputy President, Finance and Administration, Mrs. Lizzy Okereke, maintained that Enterprise Bank realised the strategic importance of SMEs in fast tracking the growth of the Nigerian economy and has since been supporting SMEs.
To show how important the sector is to the financial sector, the Enterprise Bank boss said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had worked out a blueprint that supports SME growth in the country and encourage all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to support the sector.
He however regretted the fact that entrepreneurs were not taking the full advantage of the support that banks were willing to give.
Kuru said: “There is need for knowledge sharing and capacity building among those that are interested in benefiting from the support that the banks are giving to the sector. At Enterprise Bank and indeed other banks today, there are many products that have been carefully developed for the benefit of the SMEs. But we have a situation where those that the products are designed for are not even aware and are not making any effort to know how they can be involved in the scheme.
“If this is the situation, it means there is a lot of work to be done by NASME to educate their members on the availability of these products. But as Enterprise Bank, we have since identified the need to support SME growth in Nigeria. We want the country to see Enterprise Bank as a strong partner of the SMEs as well as associations like NASME because of your resolve to protect and project the interest of SMEs.”
Okereke said they were at the bank to seek support to help members of the association to secure financial assistance that would help grow their businesses.