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FirstBank Highlights Roles of SMEs to Economy At Ehingebti in Lagos Summit


The Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, has restated the strategic importance of small and medium enterprises SMEs to the growth and development of the national economy.

Adeduntan said the path to the growth of the Nigerian economy lies in growing the SME sector, and that informed why First Bank has deliberately provided robust support platforms for the critical SME sector.

Speaking during the plenary session at the 8th Ehingbeti/Lagos Economic Summit on Tuesday, 16 February 2021, the First Bank CEO said, “The path to the growth of Nigerian economy is by growing the SME sector.

SME is a very important aspect of what we do at FBN because of its importance to the overall growth and development of the economy.”

Adeduntan disclosed that ”By March 2021 First Bank will be 127 years old, and is by far the oldest and largest bank in Nigeria.

The reason we continue to thrive and endure as an institution is our support for businesses that are relevant to the overall growth and development of the economy and the SMEs is a practical example. Our portfolio of SME is quite sizeable, giving the history of the FirstBank and Nigeria.”

Enumerating the bank’s support for the sector, he explained: “At FirstBank, we have a dedicated portal called SME Connect running for about 6 or 7 years through which we provide support for SMEs.

We offer advisory services to ensure we up their skills and capabilities in either preparing basic accounts statements, choice of technology,

We have continuously refined the SME Connect platform to conform to the latest standards. For example, we updated it with relevant adjustments to the new Company and Allied Matters Act CAMA Law. In some practical terms, we provide term loans, overdrafts,s and all types of structured debt instruments to our SME customers.

Dr. Adeduntan further added that “Very importantly, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as part of its economic stimulant plan provides more liquidity for banks to enable them to lend more to SMEs. FirstBank is active in that space, and so are other banks too.

“The Bankers Committee which consists of CBN Governors and CEOs of Banks also collectively decided and intervened on SME. We set up a fund with 5% of Profit After Tax to create a pool of fund which is available for funding SMEs.  We understand their importance in keeping the economy growing to ensure we have a positive economy.”

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