Sterling Bank Plc has given reasons it supported the just concluded Nigerian Economic Summit (NES#22) held in Abuja between October 10 and 12.
The bank, in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos, said the summit with the theme ‘Made in Nigeria’ was in line with its commitment to the promotion of Made-In-Nigeria goods and services.
According to Sterling Bank, it would continue to invest in and partner with like minds to promote the production and consumption of locally made goods and services adding that its sponsorship was also hinged on the fact that the event provided a platform for public-private dialogue (PPD) to fashion out the right economic agenda to take the nation out of the current economic downturn.
It would be recalled that the Bank has remained consistent in the promotion of Made-in-Nigeria products.
Recently, Sterling Bank sponsored the Made-In-Nigeria week held in Lagos.
The Bank is also in partnership with Innoson Motors Limited to finance the purchase of locally made vehicles produced by the company.
In addition, Sterling Bank financed Labana Rice, one of the largest rice mill in the country and also bought large quantity for staff and stakeholders in the Bank.
Driving this initiative down to her staff, the Bank has instituted a ‘Made – in- Nigeria Week’ when staff come to the office dressed in locally made attires.
Held annually, NES attracts over a thousand delegates including chief executives, opinion leaders and policy level managers from the public and private sectors to interact and share thoughts on issues of national importance.
The Bank, in the statement, explained that its strategic support for the promotion was informed by the current economic headwinds and exchange rate volatility fueled by the fall in oil price which brought to the fore, the need to diversify the nation’s revenue base and support the manufacturing sector through the patronage and use of locally made products and services.
Also, the Bank noted that the patronage of local manufacturers would boost the local economy adding that this partnership was one of the numerous projects the Bank is embarking on to enrich the lives of Nigerians.
The Bank said: “The country’s dependence on oil exports for foreign exchange and the global oil sector downturn driven by the falling oil price has led to much talked about economic recession in the country and has negatively impacted other sectors with prices of imported products rising significantly.
“For the country to get out of this situation, there is an urgent need to diversify the economy and empower the manufacturing sector. But the manufacturing sector will not thrive if they are not patronized by Nigerians”.
While acknowledging that the challenges facing the economy also provide a platform for proactive companies to seize the opportunity to promote indigenous products and local substitutes, the Bank called on the Federal Government to provide the necessary infrastructure to encourage the establishment of manufacturing companies in the country as well as put in place a tax regime that would encourage foreign direct investment.
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