United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has facilitated $29.4 billion export trade finance for its customers across different regions of the world, its Deputy Managing Director, Muyiwa Akinyemi has announced.
Speaking during the flag-off of the 2022 Lagos International Trade Fair, on the theme: “Connecting Businesses, Creating Value” , Akinyemi said SMEs are the bedrock of any country’s economic development.
He said that UBA pioneered products and services specifically targeted at SMEs and young entrepreneurs towards meeting their financial needs, having access to markets and building capacity.
“We are focused on creating value, connecting and facilitating business across Africa and between Africa with the rest of the world. Already, we have done a trade of about US$7.7 billion and Export trade of about US$29.4 billion as at August 2022,” he said.
“It will also interest you all to know that we match our words with action as we have supported hundreds of SMEs in Africa especially in countries where we have presence. UBA does this not only in the manufacturing and services sectors but also in the creative industry and Fintech,” he stated.
He also spoke on the Pan African Payment Settlement System (PAPSS), a centralised payment and settlement system for intra-African trade in goods and services that is poised to transform the payment landscape across Africa.
“Because of our large network and pan-African presence, UBA is working with AfrEXIM Bank through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to promote regional trade through harmonised trade documentation, easier access to finance and timely and easy currency conversion with the PAPSS platform. Already, UBA is at the forefront of this collaboration currently at six pilot countries in West Africa – Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Gambia,” Akinyemi said.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, appreciated UBA’s efforts and support to SMEs which have significantly impacted the growth of businesses in Lagos and beyond.
Sanwo-Olu seized the opportunity to restate his administration’s commitment to prioritising the growth and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to further drive the economic growth and development of the state.
The President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Asiwaju Michael Olawale-Cole, expressed satisfaction on the level of SMEs’ participations in this year’s fair as he commended UBA for its commitment to the growth of SMEs.