United Bank for Africa Plc and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry(LCCI), say the focus will be on small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) at this year’s Lagos International Trade Fair, which begins on November 1.
A joint statement by both organizations, on Wednesday, assured of far-reaching benefits that will help transform SME businesses, while taking them to the next level.
The statement quoted UBA’s Head Group Consumer Retail Business, Jude Anele, as saying during a press conference to officially herald the 2019 Lagos International Trade Fair, as saying that the bank has put in place various service offerings. These, he continued, will guarantee that this year’s fair provides a veritable platform targeted at catalyzing businesses to new highs.
The 33rd edition of Lagos International Trade Fair, he stressed, is expected to provide an avenue for networking, trade, and investment bound to boost business activities in Africa’s largest economy and by extension, Africa.
While ensuring that SMEs maximize their presence at the fair, Anele explained that UBA would provide uninterrupted banking services during the two-week event, and also provide advisory services to the small and medium entrepreneurs, which the bank realizes is fundamental to achieving their business goals.
“Worthy of mention is that merchants and entrepreneurs from other African countries and abroad would be able to conduct their transactions seamlessly without currency exchange hassles, using the extensive reach of UBA as a pan African bank with presence in key commercial capitals in the world.
“We have realized that critical to the success of SMEs in Africa is not necessarily access to finance, but their understanding of business and accounting mechanisms, process and procedures critical to their growth and existence especially on e-commerce, tax management, and bookkeeping and access to funding, and these are issues which we are trying to address,” he said.
Speaking on the ease of payment during the event, especially with African companies from outside Nigeria, Anele disclosed that UBA has successfully put in place solutions that would see the ease of payment within Africa.
“UBA will be deploying state-of-art Point of Terminals(POS) configured towards ensuring merchants receive immediate values in currencies of their choice,” he assured.
The bank further said that in line with its unflinching support to the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), it has reached an agreement with the organizers of the fair to give 20% discount to its small and medium business customers who register to showcase their products and services at the fair.
A key activity at this year’s fair is the Africa Special Day, to be organized by UBA to promote Intra-African Trade. “At UBA, we believe that Africans must grow trade and investment amongst themselves. In pursuits of that goal, Africa Special Day will seek for the promotion of trade and investment among African countries.”
Also speaking, the Chairman, Trade Promotion Board, Gabriel Idahosa promised that the 33rd edition of West Africa’s flagship fair would bring the utmost value to entrepreneurs and businesses in Nigeria and beyond as he acknowledged the massive support being provided by corporate organizations such as UBA
“At UBA, we have chosen a suitable partner with extensive reach on the continent with the capacity to engineer a seamless financial transaction expected of international trade fair of this magnitude,” he said.
Speaking further on the partnership with UBA, he said: “The LCCI and UBA have partnered to give exciting services to visitors and exhibitors at the fair. UBA is a foremost Pan African financial institution operating in 20 African countries, the United Kingdom and the USA and France, thus offering unique services to the delight of visitors and exhibitors during the fair.”
According to Idahosa, 40,000 square metres of exhibition spaces are available with over 2,000 exhibitors from 16 African countries and 200 foreign exhibitors expected in Lagos.
Photo caption: Group Head, Consumer and Retail Banking, United Bank for Africa Plc, Jude Anele; Chairman, Trade Promotion Board and Vice-President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry(LCCI), Gabriel Idahosa; and Head, SME Sales, Airtel Nigeria, Toyin Seriki, at the Press Conference organised by LCCI, the headline partner, UBA Plc with other partners, on the upcoming Lagos International Trade Fair 2019 in Lagos.