pandemic pressure

Top 200 African Banks: ‘Nigeria is a long-term strategic, important market’, says Ecobank’s Ayeyemi

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Banking Africa

By Patrick Smith

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Posted on October 25, 2021 09:34

The CEO of Ecobank Ade Ayeyemi says Nigeria is crucial to the pan-African bank’s fortunes and that the troubles exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis will not hurt its long-term trends.

As one of the pioneering pan-African financial institutions, Ecobank should be enjoying its halcyon days with the region’s economies accelerating plans for integrating their markets and using new technologies to bring banking services to a fast-widening customer base.

Ecobank’s headquarters in Lomé, Togo, is a short drive from the newly built secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area in Accra, Ghana – the nerve centre of the continent’s single market. But history intervened.

First, in the shape of the legacy of management ructions a decade ago, which included some bad investment decisions. Then, weaker commodity prices hit the export economies of Ecobank’s key markets in 2016, to be followed by the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Instead of hitting boom time, Ecobank has had to take tough decisions on costs, business direction and shareholder dividends.

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