- EPAC creating wider frontiers for SMEs, individual banking under AfCFTA – Akinwuntan
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (second right), Chairman of Ecobank Nigeria, Bola Adesola (right), Group Chief Executive, Ecobank Transnational Incorporation, Ade Ayeyemi (second left) and Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan, during the commissioning of the centre
By Anthony Nwachukwu
Ecobank Nigeria’s new head office – the Ecobank Pan African Centre (EPAC), has drawn commendation from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, who said it could enhance the Lagos Smart City Project and modernise infrastructure within the metropolis.
Unveiling the structure, Sanwo-Olu stated that the vision of the bank’s management was meets vital parameters, including the latest energy-efficient technology, environmental sustainability, sparkling ambience and state-of-the-art amenities that will further enhance staff sustainability and service delivery.
According to him, “this Pan-African centre is indeed an intelligent building designed with energy efficiency and is one of the things we need in Nigeria.
“I know that this building will speak to a lot of the very best. It is a state-of-the-art building focused on environmental sustainability, and I am sure that from what I have seen around, it is a redefining building and infrastructural development.”
He restated his administration’s resolve to continue creating enabling environment that improves business efficiency and attracts foreign direct investment.
“You know that we are currently deploying over 3000km of fiber connectivity to support businesses that require low-cost connectivity,” he said. “We will continue to create enabling environment for you.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Ecobank Nigeria, Bola Adesola, said the EPAC was a tribute to the vision of the bank’s founding fathers to create a world class Pan-African banking group and provide excellent financial services across the continent.
She listed its unique features to include a sparkling ambience, state-of-the-art amenities, smart offices, a restaurant, multipurpose conference hall, gym, crèche, 130-vehicle capacity parking lot, experience and game centre, and a rooftop terrace, among others – aimed at enhancing productivity and service delivery.
On his part, Group Chief Executive, Ecobank Transnational Incorporation (ETI), Ade Ayeyemi, described EPAC as an important milestone, saying: “The office complex brings together our staff. It is a testament to the effort of the people that had come before us.
“It enables us to create a new working environment where our staff can attend to customers and our customers can do business in the smart working environment. We can bring all our staff to one location instead of distributing them across multiple locations.”
Meanwhile, with the bank now in 35 countries, the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan, said the founding fathers’ vision of the brand was a Pan-African centre, adding: “In Nigeria, we are a major player in the financial industry.
“Recall we launched the first international credit card in the history of banking in Nigeria, the Ecobank Master card and Visa card in 2004. We are also a pioneer in mobile banking, *326# was one of the first mobile banking platforms approved.
“In this era of AFCTA, when Africa aims at operating as one market, this Pan-African centre has opened doors to every SME, and individuals seeking to expand their business across Africa.
“We are the go-to bank for trade, payment and collection in Africa because we have one Pan-African switch to make instant payment across Africa. The way you see Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) transfer within Nigeria is the way Ecobank is across Africa.”