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Temitayo Okereji

The Minister of State  for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Maryam Yalwaji Katagum has said that  Government’s shift  to non-oil sector is the smart step in the right direction for the growth of the nation’s economy.

The Minister stated this when a delegation from the  Union Bank of Nigeria Plc led by the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Mr Mudassir Amray paid her a visit in Abuja.

She  explained that the Federal Government’s interest  in moving away from the oil and gas  to non-oil sector  was the smart step while  more  partnership and resources  should be deployed towards that direction

The Minister  advised  the bank  to partner with State Governments who would  in turn  make funds accessible through their Microfinance institutions to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises  (MSMEs) particularly the nano enterprises .

Amb. Katagum expressed joy  that the Union Bank of Nigeria plc  is already doing a lot with women in MSMEs, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Bank of Industry while  she also encouraged  the bank to  collaborate  with the  Industrial Training Fund in area of skill acquisition for MSMEs.

She added that  the bank should  include E- commerce and financial inclusion in its operations.

Director Trade Department in the Ministry, Mr. Suleiman Audu in his contribution posited  that representatives of the Ministry and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc  should meet at the technical level to brainstorm on  identified   areas so as to  come up with an actionable plan.

Earlier in his remarks,  the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer , Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Mudassir  Amray  stated  that the purpose of their visit was  to    reintroduce the bank  to the Ministry as well as  seek for more collaboration, stating that,  the bank  is rightly positioned to serve the country.

The  Managing Director sought the support of the Ministry and its Agencies  in order to provide them with insights on areas of collaboration.

In a related development, the Minister  met with a team from Frandis -Franchisers  and Distributors Forum led by the founder, Mr. Tayo Adedugbe , in which she expressed her joy  over the adoption of franchise model for the expansion  of Nigeria’s MSMEs.

She called for adequate public enlightenment to create awareness and  foster more collaboration with other relevant Agencies of Government.

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