The Managing Director of Heritage Bank, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, has called for increased support for Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in order to catalyse the nation’s GDP growth rate.
The banker explained that for Nigeria to become a competitive country in terms of economic development globally, a lot of mileage needed to be covered in the SME subsector. Noting the improvement in the country’s GDP growth rate to 2.27 per cent in 2019 from 1.91 per cent in 2018, Sekibo said increasing support to MSMEs, given their dominant role in the economy would help to leapfrog Nigeria to double-digit GDP growth rate. Highlighting the importance of MSMEs contribution to the nation’s economy, he said: “Nigeria has 41.5 million MSMEs which contributed about 48 per cent of the GDP in the last five years. With about 17.4 million, MSMEs account for about 50 per cent of industrial jobs and nearly 90 per cent of the manufacturing sector in terms of the number of enterprises in the He said there were lots of opportunities for the country’s MSMEs in current financing and that Heritage Bank was taking the lead through various initiatives such as its youth entrepreneurship development programme which was aimed at increasing the contributions of the MSME segment to the economy.
He explained that the entrepreneur schemes of the bank in the support for business had always focused on dependable job-creating sectors such as the agricultural value chain: fish farming, poultry, snail farming, etc., cottage industry, mining and solid minerals, creative industry: tourism, arts and crafts, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).