Agriculture captures the Nigerian story like no other economic activity — both the ties and traditions of the past, and the promise of a bright future. Its value goes beyond providing basic human need for food. It grows our economies and, more importantly, it changes society.
In view of the vital role in the economy, 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 and small and medium scale businesses to fast track the nation’s quest to move from poverty to prosperity.
“One of the areas where government and financial institutions can move this nation from poverty to prosperity is through the development of agriculture, said Sekibo at the sidelines of the just concluded 24th Nigerian Economic Summit which was co-sponsored by Heritage Bank and tagged “Poverty to Prosperity: Making Governance and Institutions work”, Sekibo said more needs to be done by the government and financial institutions in the areas of entrepreneurship because it is an agent of development.
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”.
“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.
Sekibo also said evidence has shown that countries of the world that supports Micro, Small and Medium enterprises, (MSME’s) are successful in reducing poverty.
“One of the cardinal points to economic growth of the nation is through mechanized 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 a single digit” Sekibo said.