Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc., Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, has disclosed plans to partner with the Anambra State government in renewed efforts to assist and grow the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.
The scheme is in recognition of the role of MSMEs as engine room for economic transformation of the state.
Okonkwo, who made this known at a breakfast meeting of the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) held in Lagos, described Anambra as a unique state that boasts of thriving commercial cities such as Nnewi and Onitsha among others. He noted that the Bank is well positioned to provide support to businesses that empower the citizens and boost the economy of the State.
Providing valuable insights into Fidelity Bank’s unique approach to supporting MSMEs in the country, the Fidelity boss said that the lender established the Managed SME Division to provide one-on-one advisory access to market for its teeming customers. “We want to guide aspiring entrepreneurs on how to run successful businesses. Our goal is to build requisite capacity in order to create the Aliko Dangotes’ of tomorrow,” he added.
Similarly, Governor Willie Obiano said his state provides substantial opportunities for attracting investments in Nigeria. Obiano, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke, said: “Indeed, I have absolutely no doubt that any objective assessment of all the 36 states of the federation would put Anambra as the state that has the greatest chances of producing the most surprising development results in the next five years.”
He explained that he inherited a state with an average ambition which later transformed to a giant investment magnet through his government’s strategic re-focusing and commitment to excellence. “What is widely accepted today as the Anambra Investment Success Story is essentially driven by the resolve of my administration to open a new vista of excellence for Ndi Anambra,” Obiano said.
“It is a product of a bold determination to change the story of our people and to replace our single story with multiple stories. To the grace of Almighty God, our story has become multi-textured and multi-layered today. He further stated that the government’s “exploits in this regard can be broken down into the Four Pillars in our Blueprint. Thus, we have investments covering the broad areas of Agriculture, Industrialisation, Trade and Commerce and Oil and Gas.”
Earlier, the President, Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, Olabintan Famutimi, commended the governor for setting up the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA) which he credited for “creating the desired enabling environment in the State to attract the huge investments so far recorded and potentially to be recorded across diverse economic sectors and value chains, particularly in agriculture. This is worthy of emulation by other States.”
He disclosed that the NACC has been declared an African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA), Resource Centre by the US government, qualifying them to undertake trainings and pledged the preparedness of the Chamber in collaboration with the US Commercial Service and USAID to train the State’s entrepreneurs.
However, he urged the Governor to embrace AGOA, the free-duty export to America programme of the US government which will exponentially grow the businesses of MSMEs in the State, increase export of made-in-Anambra goods, and increase IGR for the government.