In recognition that local content policy is capable of driving Nigeria’s economic development, banks have been advised on the need to support the policy by giving the needed support in terms of lending.
Local content policy is the continuous growth and usage of locally available human and material resources that will enhance the Nigerian economic growth, the well being of its people and the transfer of technology and expertise to Nigerians, so as to meet government’s present and future targets.
Speaking during his visit to the new ultra modern factory of Omatek Ventures Plc in Lagos State, former President Olusegun Obasanjo said, “Operators of the nation’s banking industry, if you should do what you ought to have done, this country would move faster than it is. We must enhance our production; we must encourage local production and we must also patronise our local products.”
“If they do this, they will improve because the money that local industries make goes back to them. And if they now become major producers of what they are doing in Nigeria, West Africa and in Africa generally and export to other parts of the world, all the money would still go to the Nigerian banks for development,” Obasanjo said.
According to the former president, “Nigerian banks have realised that one of the ways to remain in the business is when they help the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to do better, because a bank that is not helping others, a bank that is not helping production, is not helping itself. I believe that with the consolidation of banks, we now have strong commercial banks, strong enough to be more adventurous to help the growth of entrepreneurs in the country.”
He specifically commended Bank of Industry (BoI) on its achievement in helping the economy to grow through its proactive response to the plight of the SMEs in the country. “Bank of Industry has taken the responsibility of helping the industries, also because it has more funds. They need to do more locally and encourage the development of Nigerian producers to export Nigerian products,” he added.