Creating opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and youth entreapreneurship is crucial to economic recovery, the MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo, has said.
He stated this on the sidelines of the recent 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
According to him, one of the key areas where government, financial institutions and other stakeholders can move this nation from poverty to prosperity is through conscious creation of viable environment for small businesses and young entrepreneurs to thrive because they are the backbone of local economies around the world.
“We cannot talk about moving from poverty to prosperity without taking SMEs very seriously in this country. We must support the SMEs sector reform through providing infrastructure, providing loans to farmers and ensuring interest rate loans is single digit,” he said.
Sekibo who was represented at the conference by the Regional Head Abuja-1, Daniel Oniko, stated that giving SMEs and young entrepreneurs leverage to contribute immensely to the development of their host community through engaging the youths and unemployed individuals will bring about and facilitate economic recovery.
He emphasised that the role of SMEs in creating and sustaining national development in relation to job creation has been considered a key tool in modern-day poverty alleviation, economic emancipation, and total well-being.