The Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has called for a collaborative effort to improve the power project in Nigeria in order to drive employment rate in the country.
Akinwuntan stated this while addressing the need for more productive capacity. He also said the country must continue to focus on infrastructure, power, and railways to harness the significant potential in Nigeria.
“We need to support more productive capacity, the real projects should come on stream, the power projects should keep improving so that employment can take the centre stage and get more people employed, more people engaged and therefore, the will of the economic progress can turn much faster.
“The focus in Nigeria should remain the fundamentals. One, infrastructure, power, railways to harness the significant potential in Nigeria and growth of the intellectual economy. I have commented about this and I will keep reiterating.
“Nigerians are very resourceful people, participating in services where you use your intellectual capacity, leveraging on the Internet and digital access available globally. Nigeria should continue to focus on becoming a top player globally,” he said
Ecobank’s financial inclusion drive
Ecobank Nigeria is planning to establish 50,000 agent banking locations across Nigeria as the call for financial inclusion grows in the country. This is part of the bank’s plan to provide banking services to all neighbourhood in Nigeria.
The bank currently boasts of 4,000 agency locations known as Ecobank Express Points, but while speaking to the press at the weekend, Akinwuntan stated the lender is looking to more than double the number of the agent locations.
With physical presence in every state in the country and customer base above nine million in Nigeria and 20 million across Africa, Akinwuntan said the company’s goal still remains to bring banking services closer to the people.
“We have a wide range of more than 400 physical locations, but more interestingly, we have more than 4,000m agency locations known as Ecobank Express Points which is really is our approach to bringing banking to every neighbourhood and our ambition is to have 50,000 of such locations this year.
“We want to do it in such a way that in every neighbourhood you can access an Ecobank Express point to either do cash deposits or cash withdrawals to make banking more convenient for our customers”, Akinwuntan said.
Utilising technology to improve banking services
Incorporating technology into bank operation has enabled Ecobank Nigeria to provide customers with affordable and accessible banking services. The use of technology has helped bridge the gap between Ecobank and individuals in need of financial services.
“We have built technology platform that ensure we are able to provide our services in reliable manner in a way that is affordable and accessible by our customers.
“We play a key role in collaborating with regulators and government in order to be able to provide financial services at the doorstep of Nigerians and empowering every African to participate in financial economy”, he added
Products aiding financial inclusion
Akinwuntan disclosed the several products Ecobank is offering its customers and prospective customers during the briefing. He stated that one of such product that bridges the gap between the bank and its customers include Econbank Mobile; which is said to bring banking services to customer’s pocket, enabling Nigerians to open an account with their phone, do payments, buy air time, and pay electricity bills.
“We also have Ecobank Pay, a QR payment solution that makes you pay with a mobile phone. Ecobabnk pay has transparency, accountability and it is affordable.
“You can actually have 100 QR codes. You don’t have to protect your QR code. It does not remove money from your account; it can only be used to pay money into your account.
Other products such as PoS Express Point, Ecobank Omni Lite, and Ecobank Online, are products developed to ease banking services and transactions in Nigeria.