One of Nigeria’s top banks and leading player in the Nigerian banking sector, Fidelity Bank Plc has recently earmarked about N600 million to assist and or encourage small and medium sized enterprises in the country, but this time focusing on the city of Aba, in Abia State. This move by Fidelity bank would actually create a window of very easy access to facilities from the bank for viable businesses. This time, the bank is ready to go as far as offering such assistance to as many as 70,000 viable businesses in Aba, Abia State.
The Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, while speaking at a yearly SME forum in Lagos organized by Fidelity bank recently had this to say, “People wonder what we see in SMEs that we are ending to them. We see social impact, sustainable business model and relationship banking. We believe that with continued tenacity and determination as well as economic viability, the SME sector can be revamped and interventions become effective.
“Over 70,000 viable businesses in Aba are not being given adequate attention, especially in the area of financing to build their capacity. Fidelity Bank has earmarked N600 million for the Aba cluster and we hope to formally unveil this product soon”.
Also speaking at the event, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, President of Abia Think Tank Association (ATTA) and Chairman of the occasion, advocated a change in paradigm, especially for intervention in the SME sector.
“Innovation entrepreneurship is the major difference between developed and developing economies. Hitherto, developed countries depend on the big firms but the trend is changing in today’s economic clime. It is important to drive growth of SME industrial groups and enterprise development.
“Social challenges would linger for a longer while if small businesses are ignored. It is not just enough to lend money to SMEs but also create sustainable partnerships with them. I believe access to venture capitalists would drive sustainability of finance to small businesses”, Ohuabunwa said.