As part of its strategic initiative to support the growth and development of the Nigerian economy and its customers, Access Bank Plc has concluded the integration of its online trading platform AccessTrade with e-Form ‘M’ Portal introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in conjunction with the Nigerian Customs Service and Webb Fontaine Consortium.
This was disclosed at the just concluded Access Bank Customer Engagement Forum on e-Form ‘M’ by Ebenezer Olufowose, Executive Director, Financial Markets Division of the bank in Lagos at the weekend.
Ebenezer said, “We have integrated our AccessTrade platform with the e-form ‘M’ portal, so that transactions initiated by customers on AccessTrade are fed into the e-form M portal. Access Bank had launched its AccessTrade platform and had trained its customers on usage and benefit of this online trading platform to ensure that customers leverage on the possibilities of hitch-free foreign trade transactions available for users of the platform.”
The bank’s AccessTrade platform enables customers to initiate and execute online trade transactions across the globe anytime of the day irrespective of time zone differences. It is a unique “first” in the Nigerian Banking Industry which has transformed trade finance business in Nigeria. Access Bank customers can also view, download or print copies of documents for any transaction.
Ebenezer revealed that this is part of the bank’s strategic efforts to ensure smooth implementation of the electronic form-M document earlier introduced, by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in conjunction with the Nigerian Customs Services.
Recommending the Access Bank gesture to its customers, Batari Musa, CBN’s Director of Trade and Exchange, at the event, said, “This is a welcome development and other bank’s should take a cue from what Access Bank has done today. This is to ensure that the project enjoys a seamless transition with little or no challenges.
“The initiative has so far shown remarkable results with the pilot scheme, as its use of tax identification number makes the process fool-proof. Form M is the most significant document in foreign exchange transactions for importers. Before now, it is done manually, with attendant time wastages, while some had to duplicate the form or travel to Abuja to obtain it,” Musa explained.
The CBN official further explained that the e-form ‘M’ includes the automation of international trade transactions and reduction of turnaround time from importation to the clearing stage of all international trade transactions.
In his own presentation at the event, Ambrose Ukuwegbu, Deputy Comptroller (ICT), Nigerian Customs Service revealed that the contract of the scanning companies to assess the value of imported goods and to issue risk assessment reports on the quality and value of imported goods was meant to expire at the end of 2012.