The managing director/chief executive officer of Heritage Bank Limited, Mr Ifie Sekibo said that the best way to stimulate the economic growth of the country and prevent foreign exchange relies on Nigeria’s patronage of her locally made goods and services.
Mr. Sekibo made this comment during the presentation of 2015 Gold Sponsorship awards to Heritage Bank by the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) at the bank’s head office in Lagos recently.
Speaking on the dwindling economic standards of the country, Mr. Sekibo stressed that there is need to drive the conversation for Nigerians to change their lifestyles. “We can’t grow an economy where all we want to spend on are dollar-denominated and foreign goods.
“Left for Nigerians, they want to be doing all their spending on dollars, forgetting that dollar is not our local currency. Everything they do with dollar gives employment to somebody in another country and not in Nigeria. So, we must continue to have that conversation and it must be robust.
“So, it is important as a people to begin to educate our fellow Nigerians on these things and it is the financial correspondents that must drive this, because this is a very serious issue and if we don’t, we would all regret it. You have members in print, electronic and online, if with 100 people on your platform alone, you can drive this change.”
Commenting on the award given to the bank by FICAN, he said “We are still very young in our development as an organisation. We didn’t step out to support FICAN with the intention of getting this award. People send all kinds of letters to us saying we have been awarded this and that but we have been turning them down”.Entrepreneurs in the country are therefore encouraged to be globally competitive to promote and sustain Nigerian products and services.
Meanwhile, managing director, International Monetary Fund, IMF, Christine Lagarde has asked Nigeria and Nigerians to brace up for harder times, following the massive fall in the price of oil globally, just as she said that the country since inception recorded the slowest pace of growth in the year 2015.
Speaking at the National Assembly complex in Abuja, Christine pointed out steps the country ought to take for a better economic growth. Part of her points is for the country to increase in Value Added Tax and removal of fuel subsidy among others.