Akinwuntan: Ecobank Committed to Improving Lives in Nigeria

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Obinna Chima
The Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, has said the pan-African bank is committed to improving lives of Nigerians and others in Africa.
According to Akinwuntan, the bank is also focused on aiding the growth of the Nigerian economy and has continued to roll out initiatives to make life easier for Nigerians by improving access to financial services.

The Ecobank boss said this during an interview in Lagos.
He said the bank remains the gateway to payments across Africa and serve African multinationals.
“We are proud of the likes of Dangote, present in various countries across Africa and we work closely with them. We are proud of all African multinationals be it the telecom or export businesses; they find Ecobank as a very strong partner,” he added.

The Ecobank boss urged Nigerians to take advantage of the numerous opportunities in the Nigeria.
Akinwuntan, maintained that fundamentals in the Nigeria economy remains strong.
“You look at the demography of the population of the country, over 50 per cent are less than 30 years old, that speaks of growth potential.

“Nigeria does have it challenges but in terms of the economic activities, it demonstrates a huge growth potential. You look at the intellectual capacity within the economy, as this is an aspirational economy, an economy where the average participant believes strongly he or she can do better.

“And therefore for us the focus in Nigeria should remain the fundamentals. One, is infrastructure, power, rail in order to harness the significant potential in Nigeria.
“Kenya is exploring tourism, Ghana is exploring tourism, Togo has focused on being the relevant port for commerce within West Africa. We have so much potential in Nigeria, I think what Nigerians should begin to focus and discussing more is the opportunities we have and really highlighting where we have comparable advantage and do need to scale,” he added.

Speaking about Ecobank’s efforts to drive financial inclusion, Akinwuntan pointed out that the bank has a wide range of physical location, with more than 400 of them as branches.

“But more interestingly we have more than 4,000 agency locations known as Ecobank Express points, which is really our approach to bringing banking to every neighbourhood.
“And our ambition is to have 50,000 of such locations this year, such that in every neighbourhood you can access an EcobankExpress point to either do a cash deposit, cash withdrawal and actually make it more convenient for our customers to approach a banking location to open an account, to get an instant card and to participate in the financial economy.

“We also have digital products, Ecobank mobile, which brings banking into your pocket, on your palm. With every individual you are able to open an Express account straight from your mobile phone. “You are able to do payments, you can buy airtime, pay electricity bill, pay school fees and for those of us who have our commitment for tithe, you are able to pay your tithe straight from your phone. You are able to do donations.

“Most of us imbibe the family tradition of being brothers or sisters’ keepers in Nigeria, so when somebody needs help you are able to make a payment instantly from your phone, 24 hours, 7 days week.
“We have a large ATM network across the group, we have about 4,000 ATMs. In Nigeria we have close to 2,000 ATMs and we are still expanding our ATM network,” he explained.