Lagos, May 19, 2021 – Ecobank Nigeria and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) have reached a strategic collaboration to reduce unemployment in the state through the promotion of entrepreneurship and capacity development for Lagos based micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Under the arrangement, Ecobank is expected to make available its various platforms and solutions to LSETF for prequalified MSMEs in Lagos to drive attainment of the objectives as set out by LSETF and Ecobank Nigeria.
Commenting on the partnership, Executive Director, Commercial Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs Carol Oyedeji, said the collaboration is in line with the bank’s empowerment and entrepreneurship initiatives to reduce unemployment in various parts of the country. She stressed that the collaboration will be mutually beneficial to both parties as it would achieve sustainable business growth and overall skill development amongst MSMEs operating in Lagos state. She pointed out that the partnership will engender structured capacity building, technology skill acquisition, access to business mentoring and access to finance.
Specifically, Mrs Oyedeji stated that “We are currently driving the African Union Initiative for MSMEs in Africa which includes a structured training and mentoring scheme including financing for MSMEs under the auspices of the Ecobank AUDA-NEPAD Academy. This initiative comprehensively covers the main objectives of the LSETF’s Intervention in the MSME space. Ecobank has been very active in empowering existing and intending entrepreneurs all over the country under the Ecobank agency banking proposition. This is intended to create additional revenue sources for the entrepreneurs wherever they are. We are also disposed to admit all eligible Lagos based entrepreneurs and intending entrepreneurs into this growing agency banking network.
Also speaking on the partnership Executive Secretary/CEO, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Mrs Teju Abisoye said, “We are pleased to work with a leading Pan-African Bank with operations in thirty (33) countries across Africa. Partnerships like this move us much closer to our goal and I believe that the collaboration of the government and the private sector is one that can defeat the scourge of unemployment, exponentially expand the economy and improve the quality of life of our people.
“The initiative, which is tagged LSETF/Ecobank Project, is aimed at making available various platforms and solutions tailored for participation in the programmes of the LSETF towards achieving the objectives of increased job and wealth creation, reducing unemployment, driving technology adoption and capacity/skill enhancement,” she said.
Ecobank Nigeria Ltd. is a subsidiary of the Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African banking group with operations in 33 African countries and an international presence in four locations (London, Paris, Beijing and Dubai). Ecobank Nigeria is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals. Ecobank is a major player in the distribution of financial services in Nigeria, leveraging digital platforms including Ecobank Mobile App and USSD *326#, Ecobank Online, Ecobank OmniPlus, Ecobank Omnilite, EcobankPay, Ecobank RapidTransfer, ATMs, POSs and an extensive distribution network of over 250 branches and about 20,000 agency banking locations.
Due to its sterling performance, Ecobank Nigeria has been recognized severally: In 2020, Ecobank was recognized as the Best Retail Bank in Nigeria by the Asian Banker Awards; KPMG Customer Satisfaction Survey 2020, ranked Ecobank 3rd in Small & Medium Enterprises banking, an improvement from the prior year ranking of 4th. Ecobank received the award for Best Digital Touchpoints in Nigeria by Digital Jurist Awards and Agric Lender of the year by BusinessDay Banks & Other Financial Institutions. Ecobank’s unique pan-African platform is designed to help unlock the opportunities of the continent, for the continent, facilitating regional integration, trade and investment across borders. Ecobank remains the go-to bank for pan-African trade and payments. Our medium-term objective is to become the leading gateway for pan-African trade facilitation in the emergent Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) era, leveraging our positioning as a major payment bank in Nigeria.
About the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF)
Established in 2016, LSETF’s vision is to create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities to reduce unemployment in Lagos State. LSETF focuses on promoting entrepreneurship by improving access to finance, strengthening the institutional capacity of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), formulating policies, and actively intervening to improve the business environment. The Agency also trains and places unemployed Lagos residents in jobs, while driving innovation within the Lagos ecosystem.