Heritage Bank wins agric, SMEs awards

Heritage Bank has clinched the “Best SME Bank Nigeria 2018” (Small and Medium Enterprise) award by Capital Finance International (CFI.co), as well as the “Agriculture Bank of the Year 2018” organised by the Nigeria Agriculture Awards (NAA).

Also, the bank was awarded the Best CIBN Chapter of the Year 2018. This award is in terms of member’s mobilisation and participation as well as sponsorship of the Institute programmes.

The bank won the prestigious awards in recognition of its leadership position in delivering development and growth of the Agricultural sector and Small and Medium Enterprises. CFI is an internationally reputed print journal reporting on business, economics and finance, and headquartered in London. The award is based on recommendations and voting from CFI Partners, including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organisation (WTO), United Nations and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). While, the NAA is an annual event powered by Agro Nigeria, and  aims at recognising and rewarding men, women, businesses and institutions that have contributed to Nigeria’s re-emergence as a veritable force in agriculture.

Also, the lender won “For Sustainable Transaction of The Year in Agriculture” in the inaugural Nigeria Sustainable Banking Award convened by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Commenting on the awards, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, was quoted to have said, “We are highly honoured to be awarded by renowned organisations and regulators as one of the most supportive financial institutions to the agriculture and SME industries, which are key sectors of the economy and this validates the hard work and success story of the bank to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations.”

According to him, Heritage Bank has been on the driving seat of the agricultural and SME financing revolution and will continue to compliment the efforts of the CBN by making funds available to both individuals and corporate organisations in their efforts to increase outputs in both sectors.

He, however, noted that the bank would support the drive for cash crop commodities that would boost Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings, which the President Mohammad Buhari’s administration has always been cautious given the dangers the continuous reliance on imported food items pose to its efforts to create jobs as well as develop and diversify the economy.

Sekibo avowed that the bank would continue to make farming profitable to stakeholders and attractive to the youth, as Heritage Bank had taken the front seat in financing critical agricultural projects in several states in the country, especially in Oyo, Kaduna and Zamfara.

He explained: “The award is in recognition of what we are doing with youths in the SME sector and Biase Plantations Limited, a subsidiary of Wilmar International in supporting oil palm industry and Triton Aqua Africa Limited involved in aquaculture and reforestation projects.’’w

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