First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited, has been named the ‘Best African Small and Medium Enterprises Development Bank’ of the year by the African Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (AASME).
The pronouncement was made at the 2nd Edition of African International Small and Medium Enterprises Economic Summit and Award (AFRI-SMEs 2016), which recently held in Aba, Abia State.
AASME is a coalition of micro, small, medium businesses, associations, operators, owners and individual manufacturers within Nigeria, extended into some African countries but headquartered in Aba. Some of the members include entrepreneurship and skill development cooperatives, palm kernel producers, import and export groups, garment, textile manufacturers, dealers, investment and development cooperatives as well as leather and allied products cooperatives among others.
Commenting on the award to President General AASME, Darlington Onuoha Kalu, was quoted in a statement to have said FCMB did not deserve and merit anything less, considering its pedigree and volume of support to SMEs over the years.
“Its speed and positive response in various partnerships leading to the establishment, growth and development of small and medium scale businesses is very commendable. The bank is helping to solve the problem of unemployment, leading to skills acquisition and in turn, the nation’s economic development.
“FCMB is the first bank to respond to and cooperate with us, among all other Banks that we called. The bank’s level of commitment towards the economic development of Nigeria through its quality and volume of support to small businesses, starters and growing firms, has not been equaled by any other bank,” Kalu stated.
Acknowledging the award on behalf of the Regional Director, FCMB in the South-east and South-south,the Vice President and Zonal Head, Owerri Zone, Mr. Okey Ogelle commended the organisers and the governing council of AASME for their commitment, desire and the level of organisation towards realising their main objective of truly transforming and growing small businesses into mega firms.