Nigeria Subsidiary Remains Top Priority For ETI Operations - Alain Nkontchou, Chairman

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Thursday, July 23, 2020 /11:10 AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: Twitter; @WebTVng


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Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) has said that in terms of  its operations across Africa, the continental bank will navigate creative banking solutions and platforms to support economies across the continent in coping with the economic and financial challenges of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

 

Mr. Alain Nkontchou the newly appointed Chairman of the Group disclosed this at a Q&A session with financial media correspondents across the continent.

 

According to Nkontchou, Nigeria is an important subsidiary franchise within the group and all existing operational challenges faced by the Nigerian bank would be addressed through strategic engagement with the management of the Nigerian subsidiary and the adoption of plans that would improve both top and bottom-line earnings.

 

The bank's Chairman said the focus of ETI under his Chairmanship would amongst others seek to strengthen its risk management framework and scale up the group's digital footprint in retail and wholesale markets.

 

According to him improving the customer experience will continue to be paramount for the group.

 

On his part the Group CEO, Mr Ade Ayeyemi, said Nigeria was one of the largest markets and opportunities for the financial institution in Africa, and it was vital that the group's Nigerian operations are reworked to improve service delivery quality and operational efficiency within a very difficult period for the economy as COVID-19 harms a variety of key economic indices.

 

Responding to a question on IAS21 and its likely impact on the group's books as it reconciles multiple currencies of operations with a single dollar reporting currency, Mr Ayeyemi noted that ETI has been working with accounting professionals to enable the group adopt best accounting reporting practices.

 

He assured that the process will not be different from the IFRS9, which ETI aligned with in 2018 in terms of compliance and reporting standards.

 

Looking at the recent decision by the Central Bank of Nigeria to unify the exchange rates in line with the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, Ayeyemi lauded the decision describing it as a step in the right direction.

 

In the area of support to SMEs on the continent both Nkontchou and Ayeyemi agreed that ETI had worked closely with the African Union (AU) and other institutions to provide support to small businesses in the region, especially during the COVID 19 period.

 

The ETI Chairman restated the commitment of the Institution to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and its full support for intra-regional trade.

 

On speculations of a possible right-sizing of the group, the GCEO, Ayeyemi informed business writers that no decision has been taken to that effect, and whatever steps are to be taken will follow a decent and humane process.


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