Edo State Deputy Governor, Honourable Philip Shuaibu made the remark for systematic overhaul of the banking sector in Nigeria to operator in tantrum with the present economic realities in Lagos recently while receiving an Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award presented to him by the Rotary Club of Mushin Metropolitan.
As a special guest at the occasion started his speech by heaping praise on the immediate past President of the Club, Rotarian Gregory Otsu for an accomplished tenure- 2017/2018, describing the Club as have demonstrated great service to humanity.
He said, “I am happy that what started about a year ago is coming to an end on a positive note. I am happy that Rotarian Gregory Otsu is handing over gracefully. It is my prayer that the incoming President will consolidate on your achievements and even perform better, because Rotary is about impacting lives or serving humanity.
“I also feel honoured by the Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award given to me by the Rotary Club of Mushin Metropolitan. That is why I strongly believe we should cease from passing bucks rather work harmoniously to tackle issues around poverty- water, health, education and other related indices”.
He said this measure has inspired programms of Edo State. “Our goal is to reduce poverty”, Hon Shuaibu said. “The present government of Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki’s on achieving economic prosperity for Edo State which is a consolidation of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’ achievements. We are working with private and corporate entities to make this happen.
The Deputy Governor however, called for improved palliatives to cushion the sufferings of the SMEs, especially in the area of accessing funds from the financial institutions.
He described banks in Nigeria as Depository Houses with little emphasis on financing small businesses. This, he said has led to the demise of small businesses with brilliant ideas.
“Banks are collecting indirect collateral, because when you need a guarantor with like some amount you want to give out as loan to the SME, then, you are indirectly collecting collateral. That is not helping the economy. Remember, the SMEs today will become multinationals tomorrow.
“Therefore, banks in Nigeria need overhaul in such a manner they will accommodate engineers, psychologists, sociologists and others with a touch in humanity, as against the present penchant to recruit ‘fine boys and girls’ with little understanding about business financing.
He further said categorically, “without proper care for the SMEs, poverty would continue to multiply as we have seen in the economy today”.
Earlier, the MD/CEO of LAPO Microfinance Bank, Dr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe, said that technology will play a vital role in promoting financial inclusion for the reason that where conventional network, that is the bricks and mortar financial institutions, could not reach, technology will get there.
“I think what is needed is more awareness on various opportunities that are available. I believe very soon we should be able to enhance the level of financial inclusion in Nigeria”, he added.
Rotarian Otsu described the outgone Rotary Year as an interesting one; adding that managing the resources accrued to the Club they were able to impact the lives of people in the grassroot.
He further called for increased capacity of small businesses and Nigerians in general, stressing that as a Humanitarian Organisation, Rotary believes in living in harmony among the citizens while serving humanity.