Heritage Bank partners Vanguard Media to drive inclusive economic growth

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Heritage Bank Limited, Nigeria’s most innovative banking service provider, has partnered with Vanguard Media to organise the 2019 edition of its economic discourse in a bid to achieve inclusive economic development in the country. The theme of the discourse is Human Capital Index versus Economic Growth, Nigeria’s policy options. The discourse was informed by the recent World Bank Group ranking of Nigeria 152 out of 157 countries on its first-ever Human Capital Index. Also, the Brookings Institution said Nigeria had overtaken India as the nation with the highest number of extremely poor people. The report showed that about 87 million Nigerians are in extreme poverty, with six Nigerians falling into extreme poverty every minute. Data from National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, showed that the number of unemployed Nigerians rose by 3.3 million or 19 per cent to 20.9 million in third quarter of 2018 (Q3 ’18) from 17.6 million in third quarter of 2017 (Q3 ’17). The discourse was therefore organised for economic experts to proffer solutions to the problems confronting the economy such that government would be able align the nation’s economic with that of human capital development.

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank, Mr. Ifie Sekibo said they decided to partner with the organisers to achieve inclusive growth in the economy. Sekibo who was also one of the discussants at the event noted that there was need to deal with the energy problem confronting the country because it accounted for about 35 percent of overheads of banks. He also said the minimum wage would increase liquidity and money supply and lead to inflation, a development which will make the Central Bank of Nigeria to mop up the excess money through Open Money Operation (OMO).

Also speaking as a discussant, Director-General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said because of inadequate resources available to the Federal Government to adequately fund human capital development vis-à-vis economic development, government should grant complete tax holiday to private operators in the educational and health sectors to enable them to complement the efforts of government. He observed that there was need to grow investments in a bid to grow revenue.

Also contributing, Mr. Doyin Salami, an economist and former member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the CBN noted that there was need for inclusive government for human capital to grow in tandem with economic development. He also said there was need to set target like other developed economies such as China and focused on achieving it, remarking that because there is capital deficiency in the economy, there is need to encourage the private sector to invest in the economy.

Earlier in his keynote address, Mr. Fola Adeola, former Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank, had identified 12 giant evils plaguing the Nigerian economy. They include hunger, disease, voidness, illiteracy, corruption, aimlessness, ignorance, visionless, directionless, crookedness, insecurity as well fear of exploitation. He said there was need to systematically and comprehensively deal with those evils for the inclusive growth of human capital and economic development.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

L-R: Dr. Sophia Horsefall, Corporate Relations Manager, SPDC; Osepiribo Ben-Willie, Executive Director of Heritage Bank and Ivy Davies-Etokakpan, President of Eveafrique News at the Women Must Conference 2.0, titled “The Woman and Her Must” organised by The Kilali Tribe held in Port Harcourt.

PRESS RELEASE

Heritage Bank is agent for actualisation of SDG 5-Gender Equality, women empowerment – Kilali Tribe

05/12/2022:  Heritage Bank has been commended for being an agent for the actualisation of Sustainable Development Goals SDG 5 – Gender Equality, as well women empowerment for socio-economic growth.

This was stated by Kilali Tribe at the Women Must Conference 2.0, titled “The Woman and Her Must” organised by The Kilali Tribe which held in Port Harcourt.

The Kilali Tribe is an association of prolific Rivers and Bayelsa State women who come together to support themselves through peer learning, capacity-building initiatives, networking, and mentoring. Also, provide similar structured support to other women within the community.

Speaking at the event, Ivy Davies-Etokakpan, President of Eveafrique News who also member of Kilali Tribe, commended Heritage Bank for taking the lead in championing the empowerment of women over the years in the country.

“We are proud of Heritage Bank for making us soar while promoting women empowerment. Over the years, Heritage Bank has proved to be an agent for the actualisation of achieving SDG 5 – Gender Equality, as well women empowerment,” she said.

The Executive Director of Heritage Bank, Osepiribo Ben-Willie affirmed the need to deliberately adopt measures to deepen women empowerment to drive the nation’s socio-economic growth.

In her closing remarks, Osepiribo Ben-Willie hinted that the Conference had leveraged Kilali Tribe to come up with blueprint in promoting women’s equal right to socio-economic empowerment, as this is at the heart of the SDG5-Gender Equality.

The Executive Director of Heritage Bank affirmed that women all over have proved to be huge economic asset in the act of creation of a new sustainable economy, hence gender inclusiveness and women’s empowerment must be taken as a priority.

According to her, after evaluating the bottlenecks restraining the Kilali Tribe and other women to attain the platforms to grow professionally and thrive in all spheres of t heeconomy, it is a call to action to “tackle the challenges of gender disparity and lack of inclusiveness that have continued to impede the expected rapid economic empowerment that could help unshackle our women’s entrepreneurial prowess and foster more representation for women and girls at decision-making forums and Board levels in comparison to their peers in the developed countries.”

Ben-Willie added that for women to emerge economically and socially as independent there was an urgent need to tackle psychological, social and skill constraints.

Collaborating Ben-Willie’s, the Co-founder and former Group Executive Director of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, advocated for women and girl inclusiveness across all sectors of the society, including economic participation and decision-making.

According to him, the country should be conscious of gender equality, whilst emphasising that dealing with the psychological constraint will enable women to be balanced emotionally.

He stressed the need for organisation to leverage women positions on Board level, as they are resourceful and could enormously impact to the growth of any society.

Cole also charged women in being deliberate to position and champion course that would put them at the forefront of making difference. //END.//

Ozena Utulu, Ag. Group Head, Corporate Communications