The First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Plc, says it has partnered with Microsoft to create solutions that will empower and improve production for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Its Deputy Managing Director, Mr Gbenga Shobo, spoke on Friday at the FirstBank Microsoft SMEs Partnership Launch in Lagos.
Shobo said that the target was to reach out to about 40 million SMEs and interested individuals.
The deputy managing director said that it was part of the activities marking the 125 years anniversary of the bank and its way of giving back to the society to grow the economy.
He said that the bank was paying attention to SMEs and technology because SMEs was very crucial and being a major part of the bank’s customers base.
According to him, FBN 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 SMEs can buy some of the Microsoft solutions at discounted rates, pay in naira as against the dollar, thereby removing the stress of exchange rate which is sometimes a challenge for the SMEs.
“They now have a portal where they can ask for advice on the products and some extra sales support we can also get Microsoft to give them.
”The SMEs may not have been able to get the Microsoft solutions and products on their own, but for the two being FBN customers have managed to put them together.
”We feel that SMEs are the major drivers of the economy in Nigeria today, because of the challenges of jobs creation and so most people are setting up businesses.
”The SMEs segment is so important to the livelihood of many Nigerians, and we have seen that SMEs have the ability to grow.
”The more the SMEs grows, the more it is beneficial to the bank and the more the economy will grow,” he said.
In his remarks, the Business Group Lead of Microsoft, Mr Wale Olokodana, said that every client, every person and every organisation needed to achieve success through the right patnership.
Olokodana said that without the right partnership, much could not be achieved.
According to him, that is why we are here today to partner with the leading bank in Nigeria as per mileage, taking SMEs seriously and working hard to empower SMEs to achieve their desired goals and digital transformation.
”Microsoft has been around since 2013 and over the years, we have worked with SMEs, not only to empower them through technology, but to empower them in other areas of their bussines.
”We provide information, financial management and human resources.
“We believe that productivity is very key to the success of our space, especially in trying moments like this where it can be difficult to get up and start working.
“So, I really hope you will find value in the different solutions we have given you to help you to transform and empower your organisations to do well and reach out to people in Nigeria,” he said.