In line with its giant strides in investing across the agriculture value chain in the country, Sterling Bank Plc, has entered into a partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) to drive the export of agricultural products in the country.
The move is also part of the bank’s support for the diversification programme of the Federal Government.
Under the partnership with NEPC, Sterling Bank has powered the Information Communication Technology (ICT) laboratory of the South West Regional office of the council by providing 24-hour internet service for the staff and entrepreneurs exporting products outside the country.
Speaking at the launch of the ICT laboratory in Lagos, the Bank’s Executive Director, Mr. Kayode Lawal said the partnership with NEPC will be sustained beyond the launch of the ICT laboratory.
Lawal gave the assurance that the Bank would continue to support NEPC and exporters in the country in a bid to drive exports of products from the country.
He noted that agriculture and exports were closely related and that the Bank was working aggressively to drive agricultural and export initiatives in the country because they would help to create employment for the teeming population of the country.
He said significant export of made in Nigeria goods was the only direction the country could take now because Nigeria is the largest economy as well as the largest crude oil exporter on the African continent, but was lagging behind in terms of export of other products.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo appreciated Sterling Bank for the partnership and the synergy the initiative would produce.
He noted, “We are doing many things with the Bank. We hope it (Sterling Bank) will prove to be the number one export bank in the country.”
He said the council had six regional offices across the country and it was its intention to have one smart office in each state of the federation in a bid to drive export businesses to realize the diversification programme of the Federal Government.
Some members of staff of the NEPC in separate interviews commended the bank for powering the laboratory with internet access, adding that it has enhanced their computer skills as well as helped exporters to obtain needed information from the Lagos office of the council instead of going outside to obtain such.