Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, has expressed fears over the effect of the corona virus disease on Nigeria’s external reserves.
Noting China as a big consumer of crude oil, the Access Bank chief was worried over the dwindling reserve and the overall effect of COVID-19 on businesses, both big and small, in Africa’s largest economy.
He told Bloomberg, “We had the luck of preparing before we recorded the first case.
“Corona virus and its knock-off effect on crude oil is a big issue. China is the largest consumer of oil and with China on lockdown, it must affect our reserves.”
On how the scourge affects loans and businesses, he said, “The nature of consumer loan is typically tied to payrolls. That is not feeling the strains just yet. We also have that which is tied to small scale businesses which borrow on a day-to-day basis.
“Will it happen? Yes, because all the markets converge as one, but what is important is that we have priced those loans to reflect all of that; so, we are in a good place.”
Wigwe, who had facilitated the merger of Access and Diamond banks, said Access was looking at cementing its place in the continent’s banking landscape.
“We are looking at the major trade corridors in the continent and it is going to be over a period of five years. The whole idea is that we become Africa’s gateway to the world,” he said.
With the bank boasting of some 45m accounts of about 40m unique customers, he added, “I imagine that by 2023, we will have 120m customers across the continent with 100m in Nigeria, which is the largest market by far.”
Get real time update about this post categories directly on your device, subscribe now.