First Bank of Nigeria has expressed commitment to the growth of the agricultural value chain and creating opportunities for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to thrive in the country.
Its Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Mrs Folake Ani-Mumuney, made the assertion at the fourth edition of Fiesta of Flavours in Lagos.
The Fiesta of Flavours is a food and beverage fair that provides an avenue for participants to fully experience the entertainment, art and business of food.
The fair organised by First Bank in collaboration with the Eventful Ltd, connects SMEs with prospective customers toward boosting sales, exposure and business growth.
Ani-Mumuney said that the financial institution was committed to helping SMEs in the food sector to grow and develop, while promoting economic diversification.
According to her, SMEs are critical to the development of the nation’s economy and should be supported by all stakeholders in the overall national interest.
Also, Mrs Yewande Zaccheus, the Chief Executive Officer, Eventful Ltd., said that the initiative had created a platform that converges SMEs and customers in a relaxed atmosphere while promoting business activities.
Zaccheus said that many SMEs, especially those in the online space has leveraged on the opportunity of the fair to create awareness about their products, forge more partnerships and client base.
She said that many businesses that were showcased had grown through the platform and impacting positively on the economy.
Commenting, Mr Olisa Adibua, the Managing Director, Perception Media, said that the fair had assisted in showcasing the best in local and international cuisine, not just to Nigerians, but the international community.
Chef Tiyan Alile, the Founder, Culinary Academy and Culinary Consultant for Fiesta of Flavours, said that the fair provided a platform for vendors and customers to connect and also serves as a family day out.
“The hospitality industry is growing so much that people need offtakers.
“Contacts are exchanged at the fair and symbiotic relationship that leverages on various expertise from farm, packaging and culinary development are made,” Alile said.
She said that many jobs had been created with the fair through various trainings, seminars and competitions that empowers SME operators and visitors at the fair.
Commenting, Mrs Arinola Shobande, Head, Corporate Communications, Enyo Retail and Supply Ltd., said that the company was at the fair to enlighten consumers about standards of gas cylinders and also supply them with gas.
Also, Mrs Omolola Ezeifeoma, the Managing Director, Creative Foods Concept, commended the bank for the platform, saying that the fair helped her network to create awareness about her business activities.