Diamond Bank Plc has urged entrepreneurs of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to internalise the values of financial discipline and strict corporate financial management in the running of their companies in order to sustain the rapid growth and development of the sector. The bank stated this at the 58th edition of the Diamond BusinessXpress Series held in Lagos, noting that the only way MSMEs could scale the current economic headwinds and gain the confidence and active support of the financial services sub-sector is to manage and grow their finances by adhering strictly to high corporate standards. According to the Head, Retail Directorate, Diamond Bank, Aisha Ahmad, financial stability and sustainable growth for entrepreneurs in MSME in the country is not achievable if standards of financial management are lowered. She pointed out that most MSMEs are likely to have chronic financial problems when personal financial discipline is relegated.
“The BusinessXpress Seminar is an initiative of Diamond Bank Plc which aims to cater for the business and financial well-being of our customers and indeed, interested players in the MSME sector of the economy. Sustainable growth and development of the sector largely depends on financial discipline and proper business management practices. When standards are not followed, problems are bound to come up and stifle the growth of the business,” she said.
Drawing from their personal experiences, resource persons took turns to shed light on the benefits of adhering to financial management principles and maintaining high standard of financial discipline. The CEO of Slot Systems Limited, Nnamdi Ezeigbo, stated that building trust with target customers and business partners was a key factor in growing any business. According to him, adapting to the changing business environment and ensuring that the taste and demand of the customer is met were very fundamental to sustainable business growth.
“One of the factors that we took very seriously while growing the Slot brand was the adaptability factor. For us, this simply means understanding our market, our operating environment and what exactly the consumers want at any particular time. You need to identify when consumers’ tastes change so as to address the attendant challenges,” he said.
Ogechi Chuma-Otteh, MD/CEO, One Centre Providence, stressed the importance of keeping a good working relationship with banking officers to enable easy access to useful information and financial products that will help to grow one’s business.
“Diamond Bank is an SME friendly bank. My banking officer is involved in my business and plays an advisory role when it comes to managing my finances. So if your bank is not doing anything to help grow your business, please I advise you dump them.”
Adegboyega Adebajo, CEO, West Atlantic Resources and Equity House (WARE House) Ltd, took participants through Nigeria’s business environment, identifying crude oil sales, power sector reforms, stability of the new government and infrastructural development, among others, as the key drivers of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Other speakers at the event included Alexander Ibekwe, SME Segment Manager, MTN and Olusegun Sosimi, Assistant Director, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
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