Fidelity Bank Restates Commitment to Growth of SMEs, Non-Oil Sector MWorld FEATURES, NEWS Fidelity Bank Plc says it will continue to aid the diversification agenda and economic growth of the Federal Government through its various supports to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The bank Managing Director, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, made the assertion on Wednesday at the bank’s special day at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF). Okonkwo was represented by Mrs Chijioke Ugochukwu, the Executive Director, Shared Services and Product, at the fair organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). The managing director said that the bank had continued to channel significant human and financial resources into the real sector, particularly the manufacturing, food and beverages and Independent Power Projects. “We are more than just a business transaction. “We are committed to the long-term expansion of business as we leverage our proven expertise and highly trained professionals to take businesses to the next level of growth,” Okonkwo said. According to him, in spite of the harsh business environment, the bank’s success story anchored on improved service quality, innovative products and services designed to meet needs of customers beyond generic financial intermediation. He said that the bank has 250 branches nationwide with four to six Automated Teller Machines sited in each of the branches to facilitate business transactions. “At the Trade Fair, we have dispensed millions of naira to visitors at the fair and plan to install another ATM to enable seamless withdrawal. “We are also giving free business and financial advisory services to customers and non-customers at the fair in demonstration of our long-standing commitment to supporting micro businesses in Nigeria,” Okonkwo said. He disclosed that the bank had trained 300 non-oil exporters through its Export Management Programme to support the growth of the non-oil sector. Okonkwo said that the bank would extend the training programme conducted at the Lagos Business School to the northern part of the country to enable more participation from non-oil exporters. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bank rewarded 10 of its loyal customers with N3.25 million cash rewards to encourage them to imbibe the savings culture. He said that N110 million and over 200 consolation prizes such as fridges, generators and Television (TV) sets would be given to customers over the six month duration of the programme. In her remarks, Mrs Nike Akande, the President of LCCI, urged financial institutions to be more proactive to deliver value to customers in spite of the harsh economic conditions. “We call on financial institutions to consider extending credit to enterprises involved in manufacturing, food processing and non-oil export. “This is a form of reducing dependence on imports and driving diversification agenda toward achieving sustainable growth,” Akande said. She said that the banking sector remains a cash flow engine for all sectors of the economy and makes Fidelity Bank a critical player in sustaining economic recovery.