First Bank of Nigeria Limited, through one of its Sustainability initiatives, the FirstBank Sustainability Centre in partnership with the Lagos Business School is hosting the 2017 SME Conference to drive creativity, innovation and productivity among local manufacturers in Nigeria. Small and Medium Scale Enterprises are pivotal to the development of any nation’s economy, and it is imperative for public and private enterprises to nurture this sector to stimulate the production and patronage of local goods and services. This would certainly be the catalyst required to revive the economy as it would build a sustainable local business sector, generate income within the economy, create employment, and progressively move Nigeria from an import based economy to an export based economy.

The SME Conference with the theme Made in Nigeria: Driving Productivity & Competitiveness would explore the role of SMEs in ensuring the sustainable economic growth of the nation, especially at a time when the Nigerian government is looking to diversify its income stream. Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, Board of Directors, First Bank of Nigeria Limited would be the keynote speaker at the event. The conference will bring together various stakeholders in a forum for policy influencing conversations and advocacy whilst inspiring action on ‘Made in Nigeria’ products and services. Some of the panelists at the event include Gbenga Shobo – Deputy Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited; Peter Bamkole – Director, Enterprise Development Centre (EDC); Tara Fela-Durotoye – Founder/CEO, House of Tara; Bosun Tijani – CEO, CCHub and Oluwaseun Onigbinde, Founder BudgiT; among others.

According to FirstBank’s spokesperson, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, FirstBank as the number one SME Bank in Nigeria understands the needs of SMEs and is able to provide bespoke solutions in promoting SME development. “It is our sincere hope that this conference will create an exciting new landscape of opportunities for SMEs in Nigeria, boost capacity development and push the frontiers of economic empowerment initiatives in the long run”, she said. The event would hold on Friday, April 28, 2017 at the Lagos Business School, Lekki-Epe Expressway Ajah, Lagos and attendance is strictly by invitation.