Stanbic IBTC expresses confidence in Nigeria’s economic recovery and growth
Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, has said that with diligent execution and policy consistency, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) has the capacity to steer the country towards full economic recovery and sustainable growth and development.
ERGP was unveiled in April this year as a short-to-long term (2017 – 2020) blueprint to lift the country out of recession and unto the path of inclusive growth and development. Key goals of the blueprint include macroeconomic stability, incremental improvements in national productivity and sustainable diversification of production in such areas as agriculture, energy and medium and small enterprises, as well as manufacturing and services.
The attainment of these goals underscored the theme of the 23rd Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja – “Opportunities, Productivity and Employment.” Speaking on the sidelines of the Summit, Yinka Sanni, CEO of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, stated that practically every sector of the Nigerian economy is endowed with huge potential, which, when adequately harnessed would trigger exponential development of the country. By empowering enterprises, big and small, opportunities are unlocked that leads to enhanced productivity levels and subsequent creation of employment for the people, he added.
Sanni said though Nigerian enterprises are buffeted by a myriad of challenges, with a conducive operating environment, banks can assist in reversing this trend by providing critical support across the SME value chain, which would enable the sector play its foundational role in economic development.
SMEs in Nigeria, he added, are constrained in three main areas namely, management, finance and business environment. In the area of management are issues such as skills shortage, management expertise, financial management, business support and access to markets, while in the area of finance, they are confronted by cost of capital, lack of collateral, information requirements, regulation impact and culture clash. Under business environment are such challenges as poor infrastructure, energy problems, taxing regimes, red tape, transport costs and economic uncertainty. These are constraints that can be tackled through appropriate policies and strategies, Sanni said.
It was partly to address the challenge of management that Stanbic IBTC some years ago introduced an annual business seminar for SMEs where operators are tutored by seasoned experts on such issues as modern and innovative marketing, financial and management skills, sales and human resource management, book keeping; operational efficiency; people management; customer relationship management and state of the Nigerian economy.
“There will always be opportunities for those with the proper business skills to build a real future for themselves and the economy. At Stanbic IBTC, we are extremely delighted to help facilitate this process by helping to structure the financial packages that will help advance the success of SMEs in Nigeria,” Sanni stated.
In his opening remarks at the summit, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, stated that ERGP is beginning to deliver on its objectives as the country is gradually coming out of recession, investor confidence is growing and government is partnering with other stakeholders for sustained development of the economy. He, however, noted that development requires significant increase in national output, adding that ERGP aims to achieve a growth rate of seven percent by 2020 and about 10 percent in subsequent years.
Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC is a full service financial services group with a clear focus on three main business pillars – Corporate and Investment Banking, Personal and Business Banking and Wealth Management. Stanbic IBTC belongs to the Standard Bank Group, the largest African financial institution by assets. It is rooted in Africa with strategic representation in 20 countries on the African continent. Standard Bank is focused on building first-class, on-the-ground financial services institutions in chosen countries in Africa; and connecting selected emerging markets to Africa by applying sector expertise, particularly in natural resources, power and infrastructure.
Big Read |