Uche Usim, Abuja
Access Bank Plc has earmarked N1 billion for Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the health sector in partial fulfilment of its pledge to support start-up businesses in Nigeria.
The Executive Director, retail banking, Victor Etuokwu disclosed this on Thursday at an Access Bank business seminar for SMEs and health sector players in the country organized in partnership with Medical Credit Fund.
According to him, the bank remains resolute to increase funding for SMEs across a broad spectrum of the economy, saying the bank is of the financial institutions with the highest loan portfolio to small and large scale businesses.
“Increasing increasing lending support to the private sector would further boost the performance of the economy.
“This programme is the first business workshop after the merger with Diamond Bank. Access bank remains committed to providing the much needed financial support to businesses.
“As a bank, we have a role to support the economy anyhow we can and how we do that is by empowering our customers.
“We empower our customers by helping them to access finance, we also help them in capacity development by training them to do their businesses better. We also teach them about basic banking services.
“We have brought our partners to talk about how they can effectively run their businesses well and manage their finances better.
“We have a huge portfolio where we lend to businesses. Access Bank has the highest loan book in the industry at over N3tn. As you know, our merger with Diamond Bank, we are going to lend more to SMEs and I can say that as it is, we are the bank for SMEs.”
In his presentation at the event, the Business Development Director, Medical Credit Fund
Fisayo Ogunsanya, said the health sector has the potential to contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
He called on entrepreneurs in the sector to take advantage of the opportunities in the external environment by investing in technology that would drive their businesses.
“Challenges of the health sector is hydra-headed. We have an integrated approach to addressing it.
We’ve seen dynamism, there’s information today. Funding and other things that have changed the landscape also exist and the way we play the game has changed,” he said.