Popular Nigerian multinational bank and financial services provider, First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Plc, has partnered and allied with Microsoft to create solutions that will enhance and improve the overall production output for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The Deputy Managing Director of the First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Plc, Mr. Gbenga Shobo who spoke on Friday, at the event of the FirstBank Microsoft SMEs Partnership Launch held in Lagos Nigeria said that the partnership had a goal to reach out to about 40 million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and interested individuals in the country.
Mr. Gbenga Shobo who happens to be part of the activities, which marked the 125 years anniversary of the bank and through this initiative, said giving back to the people will help by grow the economy.
Also, he said that the bank was paying rapid attention to the SMEs and technology in Nigeria because SMEs is very crucial and it consists of a major part of the customer base of the bank.
According to Mr. Gbenga Shobo, the First Bank of Nigeria is creating more value for the SMEs and trying to connect their large customers’ multi-national services, products and work with them to give SMEs some added advantage.
”The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can buy some of the products of the Microsoft solutions at discounted rates, they pay in the local Naira currency as against the dollar, thereby eliminating the stress of the harsh exchange rate which is becoming a challenge for the SMEs in Nigeria.
“They now have a portal where they can go to seek advice on the products and get some extra sales support which we can also get Microsoft to give to them.
”The SMEs in Nigeria may not have been able to get some of the Microsoft solutions and products on their own, but with the partnership of the two countries, this was made possible.
”We feel that the SMEs are the major drivers of the today’s Nigerian economy due to the challenges of job creation and the problem most people face in setting up a business.
”The SMEs segment is so essential to the livelihood of many Nigerians living in the country, and we have seen that SMEs here have the ability to grow and develop.
”The more the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) grows, the more it will become beneficial to the bank and the economy of the country,” he said.
While making remarks at the FirstBank Microsoft SMEs Partnership Launch, the Business Group Lead of Microsoft, Mr Wale Olokodana said that every client, every customer and every organization needed to achieve success through the means of having the right partnership. Olokodana has said that without the right partnership in place, much could not be achieved. Mr Wale Olokodana said that without the right partnership, nothing tangible could be achieved.
According to him, Microsoft solutions have been around since 2013 and ever since, it has worked with SMEs not only to empower them through the aid of technology but to also help by achieving their goals and other areas of business interest.