The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, has called on financial institutions and the three tiers of government to support agriculture as well as small and medium scale businesses to fast-track the nation’s quest to move from poverty to prosperity.
Sekibo, also said evidence had shown that countries that support micro, Small and Medium enterprises, (MSME’s) are successful in reducing poverty.
Speaking on the sidelines of the just concluded 24th Nigerian Economic Summit which was co-sponsored by Heritage Bank and titled: “Poverty to Prosperity: Making Governance and Institutions work,” Sekibo said more needed to be done by the government and financial institutions in the areas of entrepreneurship because it is an agent of development.
According to him, “We in Heritage Bank have been supporting various small scale businesses especially through our reality show, “The Next Titan,” which is driven by our faith to give young entrepreneurs the opportunity to contribute to the economic growth of the country”.
“One of our major cardinal point as a bank is supporting micro, small and medium scale businesses and our strong desire to see young men and women succeed in any area of their business. This will help the society and economy to grow, thereby moving the nation from poverty to prosperity, he added.
Speaking further, Sekibo noted: “One of the areas where government and financial institutions can move this nation from poverty to prosperity is through the development of agriculture.
“One of the cardinal points to economic growth of the nation is through mechanised farming. Government and financial institutions must do everything they can to support the growth of the sector. We cannot talk about moving from poverty to prosperity without taking agriculture every seriously in this country.
“We must support the agriculture sector reform through providing infrastructure, providing loans to farmers and ensuring interest rate loans is single digit” Sekibo said.
He, however said, “Moving Nigeria out of poverty to Prosperity cannot be done alone by the government and financial institutions, all other sectors must contribute their quota to ensure Nigeria is rid of poverty.”