Sterling Bank’s collaboration with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and other associations to sponsor next week’s Manufacturing Expo is in line with the lender’s efforts to promoting entrepreneurship in the country.
Disclosing this in Lagos recently, the Bank’s Executive Director, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, said the bank was always ready to actively participate in initiatives, aimed at encouraging local manufacturers and other entrepreneurs as they are key to the industrial resurgence of the country.
Mr. Suleiman emphasised that the prevailing harsh economic climate in the country, especially the scarcity of foreign exchange, had made it imperative for organizations to assist the government in promoting local production of goods and services.
He pointed out that the expo would give local manufacturers a platform to network and learn new ways of increasing productivity.
According to him, “The worst thing you can do is to throw money at the manufacturing sector. The fundamental thing is for entrepreneurs to have specific knowledge that will help them to grow their business. They should know about governments’ policies and how these affect them.”
He further explained that the bank was sponsoring the expo because it believed the event will help to increase demand for locally produced goods.
Citing Made-in-Nigeria cables and wires, which he said have proven to be superior to imported brands, he noted that many Nigerians tended to believe that locally produced goods were of poor quality even without having purchased and used such products.
He revealed that in addition to the sponsorship of the expo, Sterling Bank was also planning to increase its support for the manufacturing sector.
Suleiman pointed out that the bank’s recent deal with leading indigenous auto firm, Innoson Motors Limited, was in line with its efforts to increase support for local manufacturers.
Also speaking at the press conference, the Director, Corporate Affairs at MAN, Mr. Segun Oshidipe, commended Sterling Bank’s support for the association and its sponsorship of the expo.
He stated that the expo would expose MAN members to the latest technology and products and propel them to compete on the global stage.
He said that over 2000 participants had indicated their intention to participate at the expo, adding that even though it was the maiden such fair to be organised by MAN, the association was hopeful it would achieve its targets.
According to him, the expo which will take place from March 15 to 17 at the Landmark Centre, Lagos, will also feature conferences and workshops.