The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, says the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will depend heavily on the financial services industry’s ability to facilitate the liberalisation process.

The bank quoted him as saying this in a statement titled ‘Banks are pivotal to success of AfCFTA – Ecobank MD’.

According to the statement, Akinwuntan said this during a webinar, titled ‘Exploring Nigeria’s readiness for the African Continental Free Trade Area’, organised by Deloitte.

He said the banking industry in Nigeria was ready for the implementation of the AfCFTA, adding that it would be responsible for facilitating transactions, mobilising savings, allocating capital funds and monitoring managers so that the funds allocated would be utilised as envisaged, as well as managing risks.

Akinwuntan said: “Nigerian banks have strong capital and their operating synergies have been tremendous for the past five years, particularly in the digital banking space.

He added that “Nigeria is a leading player on the continent in payments required to facilitate trade; mobilisation of savings required to galvanise the economy; focus on the SME segment, which is the largest employer of labour, especially in the critical industries such as agriculture, as Africa is a continent that is rich in commodities; education of our teeming population and health.”

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