The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Heritage Bank Limited, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, has restated the bank’s commitment to wealth creation and the development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).

Sekibo, who spoke to journalists in Lagos recently explained that Heritage Bank was poised to serve “as a catalyst to create wealth, preserve it and fashion out a succession plan for the next generation.”

He said: “Heritage Bank was set up to do one or two things and there are three steps to it. One is the creation, preservation and transfer of wealth. We sat down as a bank and noted the difficulties faced by businesses and families in Nigeria in the area of generational wealth transfer.

“To us, the main target is that our activity, our investment, our catalytic behavior will help make businesses move from one level to the other. That is the goal.”

To stimulate wealth creation, the Heritage Bank boss stated that the bank will continue to support the SMEs, which he described as the base of the nation’s economic growth.

“SMEs have to survive if the economy must survive. It is not an option. It is the bedrock of our economy. The artisans, the fitters, the technicians… if they do not exist, our maintenance culture will be very poor. Funding is the last thing on the menu for SMEs. Let us begin to inject methods and give guidance to these companies,” he added.

Sekibo emphasised that the SMEs empowerment remained a priority to the bank and pledged the continuous support of the bank to the sector. “All big corporations today, including our brother and mentor, Aliko Dangote, started as an SME. As a bank, we have set up an SME clinic and partnered with professionals, who teach them proper methods of running and sustaining their businesses,” he stressed.

He stated further that the bank had developed and introduced a wide range of services, which addresses the capacity and financing needs of SME businesses, adding that the goal of Heritage Bank’s SME offerings is to build a network of entrepreneurial leaders that will drive the growth of the sector. This, he said, would enhance the ability of the SME sector to effectively play its role as the engine for growth of the economy.

“The Heritage Bank SME Clinic is designed to enhance the entrepreneurial capacity of our SME customers. Through the Clinic, Heritage Bank understands the different aspects of the customer’s business in order to identify areas where it can add value. As a result, we are able to develop customised products and services based on the identified needs of each SME customer,” Sekibo added.