By Staphen Ubanna
For years, there had been moves by Onitsha, the Anambra state, southeast Nigeria, Commercial hub, based Traders, to attract the attention of the United Bank for Africa plc, a Pan African financial Institution, Capacity Building experts to come to their aid in the area of Entrepreneurship training programme.
The Traders were said to have opened up discussion with Anyanuno Ozioma, the Regional head, of the bank Operations in Anambra II, at different times to take up the matter with the Kingsley Uzoka led Management to consider Training them in the Art of doing business.
The Onitsha based Traders may have been encouraged to do so because of the number of Entrepreneurs who had benefitted from the training programme in different parts of the African Continent and who are doing well in their respective Micro Small and Medium scale, MSMS, Enterprises.
They may have further been encouraged by the bank yearly Market Place Event at Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, where all the Entrepreneurs who had benefitted from the bank were gathered together yearly to showcase their manufactured goods and make new business connections both within and outside the country. Indeed, the Onitsha based traders, believe that since they have the resources to expand their business and go into manufacturing, they needed to be trained to go into manufacturing for such an event to hold at Onitsha in order attract more investors to the state.
They may have succeeded in winning the heart of the Uzoka led management to give approval for the Training Programme to be held for them because of the volume of business which the bank alone, gets from the Commercial town compared to other banks.Last weekend, the Traders who were said to have gathered in their hundreds at a location slated for the Workshop at Ontisha were very happy to be associated with the Pan African bank. The large turnout of the Traders at a location for the Training Programme bear eloquent testimony that they were truly prepared for it.
The Value News learnt that no fewer than 4oo Entrepreneurs benefitted from this first stage Training programme, described as an impactful training exercise by the beneficiaries. The Traders turned Entrepreneurs, were said to have been exposed to the different ways of doing business and how to sustain it by the experts from the bank. They were said to have also been trained on record keeping, cost reduction, stock compiling, financial and taxation planning, maximising opportunities, financial planning and projections.
Anyanuno Ozioma, the Regional Head of the UBA, Anambra II, was said to have flagged of the training programme and was quickly followed by the official from the Bank Headquarters, Marina , Lagos. He may have won the heart of the Traders who were said to have listened with rapt attention when he said the ‘capacity development training workshop was intended to add value to the Bank customers’ businesses through improving their knowledge and skills’’.
He noted that ‘It was also conceptualised to fill the existing gaps observed in their businesses and to allay beneficiaries’ fear of expanding their businesses which might slip out of their control’.
Giving hope to the Customers, he noted that “Modern day business requires that an average businessman regularly update his knowledge to cope with the changing economy’’, stressing that as an ‘internet/ technology driven age the Bank customers need to learn the new ways of doing business and how to package it for increased patronage.”
Eyewitness account said the turnout at the Onitsha Entrepreneurship Training Workshop was very impressive, an indication of the Bank’s acceptance by the Traders and the importance attached to the workshop. With the impressive turnout, an appreciative Anambra state Regional Head II, of the Bank, was said to have assured the Traders of a repeat of the Training Programme in order to accommodate more people.
Babatunde Ajayi, the Head of e-banking from the Headquarters, may have spoken the mind of Uzoka, the bank Group Managing Director, GMD, when he disclosed that the programme was part of it’s Corporate Social Responsibility ,CSR, in the state, and in furtherance of its responsiveness to customers’ needs.
He may have gladdened the heart of the Onitsha based Traders when he assured that the bank is still 100 percent committed to the overall growth and success of its customers’ business both within the country and the 20 African Countries it had already established branches including France, United Kingdom Uk and the United States of America,USA.
A Trader, who participated in the one – day Training programme, commended and appreciated the Pan global ban officials for such an initiative,noting, that with this Training Capacity building Programme for MSMS Entrepreneurs in the state, it would go a long way to add value to their business in order to succeed.