- Sekibo Urges Banks to Drive Economy Through SMEs
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Bank Plc, Mr Ifie Sekibo, has urged commercial banks to intervene in building a formidable economy driven by the Small and Medium Enterprises because the sector has huge value and opportunities.
A statement by the bank said Sekibo gave the advice at the 11th annual banking and finance conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria with the theme ‘MSMEs: The game changer for economic growth and development’.
He explained that as a way of cushioning the effect of capacity building and fund management, it was cogent to introduce the MSME investment protection fund to assist the growth and rejuvenation of the sector.
He said Heritage Bank was poised to collaborate with operators of the MSMEs to grow them into generational conglomerates.
Sekibo stated that it was the desire of the bank for Nigerian businesses to be listed on the stock exchange and eventually become global brands and household names.
He noted that surviving in the face of all odds as a business in Nigeria with the present economic situation would not be an easy feat, adding that tenacity remained key characteristic of a sustainable business.
According to him, notable businesses such as Quaker Oats and KFC went through trying times, overcame them, and were now global brands.
He said, “We believe that businesses like yours are the backbone of the economy because you create jobs and play a huge role in moving our country out of this present recession. I encourage you to rise up to this challenge facing every Nigerian entrepreneur and make our economy vibrant again.
The managing director also said that Heritage Bank would support operators in the MSMEs sector to broker new deals and partnerships, adding that a contact today could lead to a business opportunity tomorrow.
He said the bank would create a platform to propel a network of fast-growing businesses and urged them to seize the opportunity, network with others as well as engage the bank’s SME consultants in their bid to build and develop sustainable businesses.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, who represented Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said it was no longer possible to achieve a robust growth trajectory as well as realise the much desired inclusive growth without proper attention to the MSME subsector of the economy.
He said the sector was not only contributing significantly to the economy but had also served as an impetus for economic diversification.