Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe
Access Bank Plc and GMT Nigeria Limited have developed a new business solution, which according to both organisations would revolutionise international trade in Nigeria.
The scheme is branded FLOWS – Finance and Logistics Worldwide Scheme.
Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, while speaking at the unveiling of the scheme in Lagos yesterday, said the introduction of the initiative was consistent with the bank’s innovative culture of continuously seeking ways to add value to our customers’ businesses.
He described FLOWS as a unique combination of import finance and logistics services targeted at importers of non-perishable, fast moving and unrestricted goods.
“You will agree with me that when two World class companies like Access Bank and GMT come together, the result can only be top notch. The platform promises to deliver an end-to-end cost efficient management of the entire import process which reduces the total lead time of a typical importation transaction.
“We are very aware that the importation process can be very hectic due to several factors that we are all familiar with and we have decided to bear this burden on behalf of our clients,” he added.
“A few years ago, we shared our strategic vision “To be the world’s most respected African Bank” driven by efficiency, transparency and innovation while ensuring speed, service and security. We also affirmed that our adopted strategies and ways of doing things will align with global best practices. My presence here today further demonstrates that we are focused and committed to delivering operational excellence as well as improved efficiency within a safe environment,” the Access Bank further boss said.
Several studies had shown that approximately 96 per cent of Nigerian businesses are SMEs compared to 97 per cent in Asian countries, 53 per cent in the US and 65 per cent in Europe.
The SME Industry represents about 90 per cent of the manufacturing/ industrial sector in terms of number of enterprises. They contribute approximately one per cent GDP compared to 40 per cent in Asian countries and 50 per cent in the US and Europe.
According to Wigwe, SMEs are recognised as one of the key drivers of economic growth by virtue of their contribution to employment and wealth creation; income generation as well as their strategic linkages with large companies across economic clusters.
“The opportunity in this sector is enormous and the financial sector plays a central role in the growth and development of the economy through mobilisation and deployment of financial resources.
“Access Bank recognises its role in promoting an efficient, effective and sound financial sector capable of providing a wide range of demand-driven financial services including supporting the financing needs of the SME sector.
“As part of our contribution towards the attainment of this goal, the bank in partnership with GMT, the foremost integrated logistics service provider in Sub-Sahara Africa came together to birth FLOWS,” he added.
On his part, the Deputy Managing Director, GMT Nigeria, Mr. Martin Thomle, said the initiative would guarantee safety of customers’ goods, adding that it also simplify cost.
“It would ensure that the whole journey of the shipping, until the goods arrive is safe. Issues of lack of documentation, wrong documentation, delay in transportation will be taken care of,” he said.thisday.