Sterling Bank’s is collaborating with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and other associations to sponsor the upcoming Manufacturing Expo.
The bank explained that the partnership is in line with its efforts at promoting entrepreneurship in the country.
The Bank’s Executive Director, Abubakar Suleiman, while speaking on the collaboration said the bank was always willing to participate in initiatives that encourages local manufacturers and other entrepreneurs as they are key to the industrial resurgence of the country.
Suleiman said that the prevailing harsh economic climate, especially the scarcity of foreign exchange, makes it imperative for organizations to assist government in promoting local production of goods and services.
He said the expo will 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 been 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, the Bank is planning to increase its support for the manufacturing sector.
He said, “The expo is not a one-off event. We are opening ourselves to the manufacturing sector; if it becomes necessary to put finance behind the sector, we will.”
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.