The Managing Director/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo, says there’s the need to support Small and Medium Enterprises through providing infrastructure, loans to farmers and ensuring interest rate loans are single digit.
Sekibo who gave this submission on the sidelines of the 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) with a theme: “Economic Recovery, Inclusion & Transformation: The Role of Banking and Finance,” said Nigeria cannot talk about moving from poverty to prosperity without taking SMEs very seriously in the country.
According to him, one of the key areas where government, financial institutions and other stakeholders can move this nation from poverty to prosperity is through conscious creation of viable environment for small businesses and young entrepreneurs to thrive because they are the backbone of local economies around the world – they happen to be the biggest employers, job creators and contributors of the national gross domestic products.
Sekibo, who was represented at the conference by the Regional Head Abuja-1, Daniel Oniko, stated that giving SMEs and young entrepreneurs leverage to contribute immensely to the development of their host community through engaging the youths and unemployed individuals will bring about and facilitate economic recovery.
He emphasized that the role of SMEs in creating and sustaining national development in relation to job creation has been considered a key tool in modern-day poverty alleviation, economic emancipation, and total well-being.
Speaking earlier, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said emerging challenges require that the banking and finance sector takes on more transformative projects such as housing and renewable energy.