• Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Access Holding signals plans to expand to Caribbean

Why Africa must integrate with global financial markets to generate wealth – Aig-Imoukhuede

Access Holding Plc on Friday signalled plans to expand to the Caribbean countries to deepen trade links between Africa and the Caribbean.

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, group chairman made this signal at the ongoing 2024 Afreximbank annual meetings, incorporating the Africaribbean trade and investment forum, in Nassau, The Bahamas.

“When Access Bank comes to the Caribbean, it will bring the necessary digital services that the people here need to thrive,” he said during the plenary session on ‘opportunities for global investment for economic growth and diversification into Caribbean’.

Responding to BusinessDay’s question on plans to establish presence in the Caribbean, he said, “We are exploring opportunities, which is why Access Bank has been actively participating in various trade and investment conferences facilitated by Afreximbank between Africa and the Caribbean.”

Aig-Imoukhuede said before taking any significant steps, it is crucial to understand the environment. “We are continually improving our understanding of these markets and are dedicated to establishing strong relationships and partnerships with local stakeholders. And we have been doing a lot of that. So I think you should watch this.”

The Caribbean representative noted the challenges faced by Caribbean people in accessing financial services, highlighting the difficulty of opening bank accounts on the island.

Aig-Imoukhuede stressed the need for an indigenous or local bank to understand the financial needs of the Caribbean people.

“When Access Bank comes to the Caribbean, it will bring the necessary digital services that the people here need to thrive,” he said.

The banking industry guru highlighted the remarkable progress of the Nigerian banking sector over the past 30 to 40 years. Reflecting on his extensive career, Aig-Imoukhuede noted significant advancements in technology, regulatory capacity, infrastructure, capitalization, and skill levels within the industry.

“Banking in Nigeria has undergone a profound transformation,” Aig-Imoukhuede stated. “Given the extensive changes, Nigerian banks have become one of the nation’s powerful exports. Whether through institutions like Access Bank expanding into new countries or individual Nigerian bankers taking their expertise abroad, they have become excellent ambassadors for Nigeria, sharing our best practices and positively impacting other nations.”

He emphasised the growing demand for Nigerian banking professionals in the Caribbean, highlighting the eagerness of Caribbean states to welcome Nigerian bankers. “Presidents, prime ministers, central bank governors, finance ministers, and even the banking public in the Caribbean have expressed their desire for Nigerian bankers to come and contribute to their financial sectors,” Aig-Imoukhuede remarked.