Mr. Tony Elumelu, Chairman of UBA Group, said the bank was prepared to support the Japanese government in its drive to promote small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) across Africa.
The Chairman disclosed the initiative when members of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), led by its CEO, Mr. Hiroyuki Ishige, visited the bank’s head office in Lagos. He noted that the deliberations had earlier begun in Davos, Switzerland, adding that like UBA, JETRO shared the passion for transforming lives and helping to build businesses and trade across the world.
According to Elumelu, “when global leaders visit a country, they bring global attention. These investors who came from Davos have seen Nigeria as a business destination and have come to the country for the first time to visit us and see how things work here. The fact is that we all share the same passion to help transform lives and businesses around the world”.
He added that “we are aware of the various investments you have made recently to develop Africa and African businesses and this is what we also stand for at UBA – developing enterprises across the African continent. We believe that this visit will mark significant milestones and progress as we work towards empowering the youths and small and medium scale businesses”.
Speaking on the benefits of the initiative, Elumelu noted that such collaboration and partnership would support employment creation, poverty alleviation and building sustainable businesses that contribute towards economic growth.
Ishige praised the bank’s management and stated that he found Nigeria to be a place full of many wonderful opportunities for investment. He said JETRO aims to contribute to the further development of Japan’s economy and society through promoting trade and investment as well as research in developing countries.
Ishige said “we like what we have seen here and we want to seize this opportunity to invite UBA to our oncoming Afro Japanese Summit which will be taking place in Yokohoma, Japan this August. I am convinced it will be a great opportunity for both countries to showcase themselves and come together towards the common aim of building and supporting small and medium scale businesses”.