Access Bank to train 500,000 MSMEs on financials, ICT, others

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From Uche Usim, Abuja

In line with its vision of growing the economy, Access Bank of Nigeria Plc says it is planning to train about 500,000 players in the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) space, aside assisting them with loans where necessary.

The Deputy Managing Director of the Bank, Mrs Chizoma Okoli, made the disclosure in Abuja at the 5th National MSME Award held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to her, the bank has since unveiled the Access Bank SMEs zone, a robust blueprint designed specifically for supporting the MSMEs, in recognition of their strategic place in the economy.

She revealed that Access Bank has already trained about 100,000 of such small businesses after the management discovered that many of them needed to be educated on financials, cash flow management, HR, technology and other areas.

She said: “Now, for us, we have invested a lot in infrastructure and technology to make sure that we support the SME sector. So, we have loans for SMEs both digitally otherwise; where they can sit down at the comfort of their homes and access up to N10 million without collateral.

“So, we believe, as you heard, in the statements of the VP that the SMEs contribute 90% of world businesses and 50% of employment. And what does that mean? That means that SMEs are an integral part of any economy. So, any economy that has no support for the SMEs would definitely not grow.

“But beyond the funds, many SMEs do not know the difference between company funds and their personal funds. So, we have the Access Bank SMEs zone, where we have over 100 training for SMEs from training them on financials, on cash flow management, HR, technology, anything that they want, because it’s beyond giving them money. After the money, they are trained in all these areas so they know what they’re doing; creating a sense of discipline in their businesses. So, they understand the financials of their businesses.

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“We’ve trained over 100,000 SMEs on that platform. This year, we’re targeting to train 500,000 customers.”
Okoli emphasised the bank’s determination to assist private sector players, adding that it has always partnered the MSMEs award due to its objective of growing SMEs, who in turn grow the economy.

Praising the steadfastness and contributions of young entrepreneurs that won prizes at the event, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo noted that “these MSMEs tell the story of our country’s great economic future.”

According to him, “we are set to manufacture our own vehicles, clean energy trucks and cars, and we are on course to manufacturing our own weapons, armoured mobile platforms and aircraft. We have all it takes.”

Making specific reference to prospects in the manufacturing and technology sectors, the Vice President noted: “I believe that MSMEs in technology and manufacturing especially in the clean energy or green economy deserve special mention. I am convinced that this sector will be crucial in global industrial development in the coming years and will leapfrog Nigeria to economic prosperity.”

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