Sterling Bank seeks collaboration to transform agriculture

Sterling Bank Plc has said it will promote collaboration that will revolutionise Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa’s agri-business industries for sustained long-term growth after the coronavirus pandemic.

The bank said this on Thursday in a statement on its upcoming summit entitled ‘Sterling Bank holds agriculture summit Africa 2020 September.’

“This year’s summit will seek to enable collaboration between stakeholders to help identify and deliver actionable steps to revolutionise Nigeria’s and sub-Saharan Africa’s agri-business industries for sustained long-term growth after the pandemic,” it stated.

The Executive Director, Corporate and Investment Banking, Sterling Bank, Yemi Odubiyi, said that this year’s edition of the summit would be online and physical, due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic and the need to adhere to health management protocols laid down by authorities.

Odubiyi said the event was part of the bank’s commitment to the critical sectors of the Nigerian economy under its well-thought-out and impact-based HEART initiative.

He said, “Agriculture is one of the five sectors the bank is concentrating investment in. The other sectors are health, education, renewable energy and transportation.”

The executive director added that the physical studios will be stationed in Abuja and Lagos for selected persons – speakers and panellists, and participants were required to register online via the summit’s official website.

Also speaking, the Group Head, Agric and Solid Mineral Finance for the bank, Bukola Awosanya, explained that aside financing opportunities for stakeholders, the bank would also use the summit to facilitate conversations around key areas in the sector.

She said, “The ongoing global pandemic has caused job losses across various sectors of the Nigerian economy – agribusiness inclusive.

“With these job losses have come a drop in overall productivity and capacity for effective demand.

“The control measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus in the country, such as restricted movement across key states and border closures have also contributed to slow growth in the agribusiness sector by resulting in inaccessibility of inputs and raw materials key for production.”

She said these, among others, were pertinent issues that could further reduce productivity in the agribusiness sector, if not quickly addressed.”

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