Emir of Kano advises Sterling Bank to focus on Agriculture

THE Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has charged the management of Sterling Bank to focus more on agriculture financing in support of the Federal Government’s goals of diversifying the economy to address the country’s almost total dependence on proceeds from the oil and gas sector.

The Emir, who spoke in Kano, encouraged the bank to remain focused and committed to the agriculture sector in line with its pioneering work.

In 2017, Sterling Bank Plc won the Best Bank in Support of Agriculture Award at the Business Day Banking Awards and Agric Bank of the Year 2017 at the Nigeria Agriculture Awards Committee. The bank also won the Best Agric Finance Bank of the Year 2016 from the Zamfara branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Best Performing Bank under the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS).

In his keynote address, at a one-day conference in Kano on Monday, organized by Sterling Bank in Kano, on Non-Interest Banking (NIB), the Royal Father also counselled the management of the bank to outline the advantages of Non-Interest Banking to the business community in Kano, the commercial nerve centre of Northern Nigeria.

According to Emir Sanusi II, hitherto, the business community depended on conventional banking models, adding that, with the advent of Non-Interest Banking, the situation has changed, as they can now enjoy profit sharing and have insurance cover on funds while reducing poverty in the society, among other benefits.

”With Non-Interest Banking, it is now inexcusable for people not to be banked or under-banked”, the Emir said.

Also, Sanusi advised the management of Sterling Bank to crisscross the commercial city of Kano to educate the business community that by adopting Non-Interest Banking, they are reducing poverty, as well as imbibing the culture of frugality.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the bank’s CEO Designate, Mr Abubakar Suleiman, urged members of the Kano business community to adopt Non-Interest Banking. He said it would enable them to lend their surplus to the bank that would, in turn, extend it to aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs as well as needy members of the public, who will invest it in their respective business enterprise.

Mr Suleiman disclosed that the essence of the conference was to create awareness of the existence and benefits of Non-Interest Banking to the business community at large.

Mr Abubakar Suleiman, whose elevation as the Managing Director of Sterling Bank, takes effect from April, said all those, who adopt Non-Interest Banking will be covered by insurance in the event of incurring any loss, which is absent in conventional banking.

The Kano State Governor, Alhaji Umar Ganduje represented by the commissioner for Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism, Alhaji Ahmed Rabiu expressed government’s commitment to partnering with the bank in sensitizing individuals, farmers and businesses on the benefits of Non-Interest Banking. Alhaji Rabiu noted that the state government would support the bank in whatever capacity to amplify the sensitization drive.

Papers related to the Non-Interest Banking were presented by scholars at the event.

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