By Dayo Adesulu
Heritage Bank Limited has packaged a N200million Naira loan facility for young graduates willing to advance their dreams in small scale businesses. The Bank also gave a cash prize to Miss Onwura Onyinye Chima for outstanding performance during the service year that won her the Lagos State NYSC Director’s Award.
Chima, 23, a graduate of Microbiology from Federal Polythecnic, Nekede was posted to Army Children School, Ojo, Lagos for her primary assignment. While in the school, Cyril Akhanehme, the Lagos State NYSC Co-ordinator said Chima was dedicated, hardworking and diligent.
The facility, according to the bank is a revolving soft loan which comes with a financial and management advisory to support National Youth Corps members who upon passing out demonstrate serious intentions of starting up small scale businesses.
Speaking during the passing out parade of the Corps members at the Orientation Camp in Ipaja-Lagos on Thursday, Mr. Ola Olabinjo, Executive Director, who represented the Managing Director of the bank, congratulated the young graduands for a successful service year and commended the NYSC for its commitment to youth development.
Said he: “The country is facing huge challenges and you hold the key to solutions. As you venture out into the workforce or enterprise, you owe yourself and future generations to be the catalyst for change.” He stated further that the strategic thrust of Heritage Bank is hinged on the future, which translates into creating, preserving and transferring wealth across generations. This, he explained, informed the setting up of a department for the youth by the bank.
Olabinjo emphasised that the idea of the loan became necessary because small businesses form the engine of the economy. “With a business, you can bequeath a legacy that will outlive you.” he added. Recently, the bank re-affirmed its business principle to empower more Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.
Managing Director, Heritage Bank, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, stated that part of the bank’s commitment to empower SMEs was the launch of an SME Clinic that will be geared towards helping small businesses address challenges associated with setting up businesses as well as mitigating the effects of certain business decisions by such entrepreneurs.
Dr. Ibironke Shodipe, Permanent Secretary, Inter-Governmental Relations, who represented the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Oluranti Adebule, at the occasion, commended the Corp members for their service to their fatherland, stating that their role during the last general elections was quite exemplary. He also commended Heritage Bank for its initiative in honing the entrepreneurial skill of young graduates.