The United Bank of Africa (UBA) has affirmed its commitments to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), just as it pledged to deepen its support for micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) in the continent.
The Chief Executive Officer(CEO), UBA Africa, Mr. Victor Osadolor, stated this at the opening ceremony of the 33rd Lagos International Trade Fair, with the theme: ‘Connecting Business, Connecting Values,’ at held in Lagos at the weekend.
He stressed that the would remain a role model for African businesses by creating superior value for all its stakeholders, adding that, “we have over the years recorded increased growth”.
“As the major promoter to this fair, because for us we believe that intra-Africa trade is critical, a major thing that we have brought is the Africa Hall. It has never been a part of this fair, but today, you have it. We have entrepreneurs that are coming from different parts of Africa, from Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, etc showcasing their things in this particular place.”
The bank, however, used the occasion to launch a self-printing debit card machine, targeted at encouraging financial inclusion and the cash-less policy.
“The new debit card is one that would allow people go into cashless environment and we want to make sure that people are doing less with cash,” he said.
On his part, the Group Head Retail and SMEs, Mr. Jude Anele, said Africa was in need of development.
“We know that the engine that would drive growth and development remains the SMEs. At UBA, we pay special attention to that segment. That was the driving spirit in sponsoring this great fair that is pan-African in nature, but of course, has a lot of focus on Nigeria,” Anele added.
The Head Marketing, UBA, Mrs. Dupe Olusola, while commenting on AfCFTA, said the bank was working with governments to support the initiative. Olusola, stressed the need for all countries involved to clearly understand the need to work together to ensure its success.
“We are working with individuals, governments to provide loans, support for infrastructure and investing into education.”
Earlier, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, who was represented by the Governor, Babajide Sanwo-olu, said the state was committed to promoting and connecting business across trans-national borders.