Sterling Bank has concluded plans to champion the use of locally manufactured goods and services by initiating the “Made in Nigeria Week” from Monday, April 24–29, 2016.
The “Made in Nigeria week” according to the Executive Director, Finance & Strategy, Sterling Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman: “Is an opportunity for us to promote a sense of pride and confidence in Nigerian grown brands starting with our people. For the entire week, we intend to showcase and celebrate everything Nigerian as a brand that supports our indigenously manufactured products”.
Other initiatives already undertaken by the bank to promote local entrepreneurs include its partnership with Innoson Motors Limited, the first indigenous manufacturer of vehicles, to finance the purchase of locally made vehicles produced by the company; the financing and even business patronage of Labana Rice mills, an indigenous rice mill amongst others.
The “Made in Nigeria Week” campaign also serves as an avenue to create employment especially for the Nigerian entrepreneurs involved in the production of these goods.
The patronage of local manufacturers of local attires for instance, is expected to also boost the local economy especially those in the fashion and shoe making industry, adding that the initiative was one of the numerous initiatives the bank was undertaking to enrich the lives of Nigerians.
Explaining further Mr. Suleiman said “This campaign comes at a critical time in the country, a time when there is an increasing call to look inwards especially in the face of the current foreign exchange pressures; pressures that have resulted from the country’s over-dependence on oil exports for foreign exchange and global oil sector downturn driven by the falling oil prices which in turn has dampened economic growth and negatively impacted other sectors with prices of imported products and inputs 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 in the country. But the manufacturing sector will not strive if they are not patronized by Nigerians. This is why we want to start with our staff by setting aside a week when we will wear only fabrics and other locally made products to the office.”