By NBF News

FIDELITY Bank Plc has restated its determination to stimulate growth in the productive sector of the economy through programmed financing of key sectors of the economy.

Speaking at the formal opening of N500 million Umza Farms Rice Mill Project financed by the bank in Kano at the weekend, the Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi declared that the project was a clear demonstration that with 'commitment on the part of the lender and the borrower, the new vision for financing the real sector of our economy can truly be achieved.'

According to him, the bank's heavy financial support to the industrial sector of the nation's economy in the past nine months indicates its unwavering commitment to efforts to revamp the Nigerian economy.

'We see it as a national challenge which we must meet. This is because experience has shown that all over the world, every economy is supported by its people and their institutions. Not outsiders who are here today and tomorrow, no more. Our commitment can be seen by the number and value of the projects we have financed over the last nine months, despite the challenges our industry faced within the period,' Ihejiahi explained.

He listed the bank's activities in industrial financing as the USD25.5 million Independent Power Plant and the USD16 million Independent Power Plant for the Island Power Limited as well as the USD28 million 15MW Alausa Power Limited, all for the Lagos State Government and in the power generation sector.

In manufacturing and processing, the bank has also left a deep impression with massive efforts like the N5.5 billion galvanising plant financed for Dorman Long Plc, N4.5 billion Ethanol Plant financed for NOSAK Industries Ltd; the USD 70 million Aluminium Can manufacturing plant, the first of its kind in Sub-Sharan Africa, financed for GZI Industries in Agbara, Ogun State.

Ihejiahi also revealed that Fidelity Bank has made a huge provision of N31.8 billion for the agricultural sector, with N4 billion each allocated to funding agricultural activities in Sokoto, Enugu, Plateau and Anambra states.

'We have also provided about N5 billion to OLAM Nigeria Limited, an integrated agricultural business company;  N1.5 billion to Ranona Limited, which is engaged in processing of fruit drinks, and as well as Food Concepts, a food processing company,' he further stated.

According to him, Fidelity's level of involvement in industrial financing further emphasises the fact that it is possible for Nigerian banks to contribute to the evolution of a new future by financing the CBN's New Vision for the Real Sector.

Reiterating the importance of integrity and commitment on the part of the borrower, Ihejiahi declared the willingness of Fidelity Bank to work with any well-meaning group, weather public or private sector that is committed to the vision of the real sector and prepared for hard work.