Lagos, April 25, 2019 First Bank of Nigeria has said that its efforts to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria has grown its network of mobile money agents to over 22,000 agents.
The bank also said the agents had processed over $490 million worth of transactions monthly.
Mr Gbenga Shobo, Deputy Managing Director, First Bank, said this on Thursday in Lagos during the Future of Finance West Africa Conference.
Shobo said this during a panel discussion on “Mobile money services for a better financial inclusion in West Africa.”
The conference was organised by the Asian Banker, a leading Asian consultancy firm that specialises in financial services research, benchmarking and intelligence.
Shobo said that to support the Federal Government’s objectives to deepen financial inclusion, First Bank sought and got a mobile money license in 2012.
He noted that its Firstmonie wallet platform had over four million customers and a spread of agent network that was expected to grow to 50,000 in 2019.
“Firstmonie has had a transformational impact on reaching low-income and historically unbanked households in Nigeria.
“It is integrating them into the wider financial system by providing access to a range of banking services including account opening, fund transfer capabilities, Identity management (BVN) and savings.
“After a successful roll out of the Firstmonie Agent network 2018, the business has grown to a network of over 22,000 agents processing over $490 million worth of transaction in monthly value and a unique transaction count of 10 million monthly,” he said.
He said that the bank had a spread across all the local governments in the country, and had deployed technology, invested in recruitment and training to ensuring that more Nigerians were reached.
She said that mobile money users in Nigeria increased from 1.6 per cent in 2016 to 3.3 per cent in 2018, saying that adoption of mobile money in the country was still low.
Lawanson said that more women should be financially included to achieve Nigeria’s target of 20 per cent financial exclusion adult population by 2020.
Also, Mr Victor Olojo, National President, Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria, said that factors that would drive financial inclusion included – access, convenience, affordability, right technology and consumer protection.
He said that financial inclusion would positively impact on the lives of the poor, uplift them from poverty, while driving the country’s economic development and growth.
Finance minister expects Latvia to bring gov’t debt back to pre-crisis level in 5 years
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis will cause the Latvian government debt to widen to an estimated 52 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), but as growth resumes after the crisis, the debt should be brought back to the pre-crisis level in four to five years, Finance Minister Janis Reirs said on public radio Monday.
As an European Union (EU) member, Latvia is required to meet the so-called Maastricht criteria, which set the caps on government debt at 60 percent of GDP. To support its stumbling economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, Latvia has been borrowing extensively, but is determined not to let its debt grow beyond 52 percent.
The Finance Ministry’s plan is to reduce government debt in the next four to five years so that it was in the range between 40 and 45 percent of GDP, Reirs said.
The minister indicated that by not slashing expenditure drastically during the crisis, the government prevented a precipitous drop in budget revenue, and that although in the first five months of this year the budget revenue fell 6 percent short of the target, it was “still better than we had expected.”
The minister said that the Latvian economy is projected to recover in two to three years thanks to the support measures aimed at fuelling economic activity and that the faster the economy grows the sooner the debt will reduce.
Reirs also underlined that the government has no plans to revise budget expenditure this year.
The Latvian government has secured over 4 billion euros to shore up crisis-stricken businesses and support struggling residents. (1 euro = 1.13 United States dollars)
FBN Holdings wins World Finance best corporate governance award
FBN Holdings (FBNH) Plc, has won the 2020 Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria Award put in place by the World Finance.
Mr Urum Kalu Eke, FBNH Group Managing Director, made this known in a statement on Sunday in Lagos.
World Finance is renowned for its comprehensive coverage and analysis of the global financial services industry, international business, and the global economy.
Eke said: “FBN Holdings is winning this award for the second consecutive year on the back of its strong corporate governance practices and outstanding leadership in the Nigerian financial services industry.
“Winning the award in quick succession is a demonstration of not only the strength of our corporate governance practices but also its resilience.
“As a holding company, we emphasise the highest standards in corporate governance across all operating entities in our quest to deliver value to our numerous stakeholders.”
World Finance has been celebrating corporate achievements in the areas of corporate governance, innovation, and market leadership in the financial services sector across all the regions of the World in the past 13 years.
FBN Holdings is the non-operating financial holding company of one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in Africa.
It is a diversified financial services group that offers a broad range of products and services, including commercial banking, merchant banking and asset management and insurance to millions of customers.
It oversees business groups that collaborate to deliver innovative financial solutions.
The bank and the non-bank subsidiaries of the holding company operate in Nigeria, as well as through overseas branches, subsidiaries and representative offices across the world.
Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
Lagos Govt, First Bank collaborate to boost e-learning in schools
The Lagos State Government says it is collaborating with First Bank Plc, to boost e-learning among students in the state’s schools.
He spoke during the presentation and hand over of 20,000 e-learning devices by First Bank to the Lagos State Government at the State House, Marina,
Sanwo-Olu said his administration was passionate about education and technology, as these would help to define the next generation.
He said that a year ago, nobody thought COVID-19 would define the way people live, hence, the need to use technology to define the education system.
According to him, First Bank has helped to actualise the vision of the state government to use technology as the way to go.
“COVID-19 has made us to fast-track our vision, and we are at a level not just to talk; we need to actualise it and it is interesting that we have found a real partner in First Bank.
“Our Permanent Secretary, Tutor-General and students should ensure that this is not put to waste, because that is the most important thing.
“Technology cannot speak for itself, it is the use you put to it that matters; it is when you activate it and use it that you can give it in the real life.
“So, at the end of the day, it is the learning and the skills that are required of these things to come to reality.
“It will amount to waste if we don’t see the output and outcome in the number of distinctions that we see in our students; in the number of the quality of tomorrow that we want to begin to build for these students and in the number of ability to which they use technology as a strong enabler for their tomorrow,” he said.
The governor said that everyone had a role to play, and it was only when everybody worked well that a system that was enabling and sustainable could be built.
The Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, said the donation of the e-learning devices was a major milestone in the journey to provide good quality online education for students.
Adefisayo said that the 20,000 devices were a step toward the provision of one million e-learning devices for students.
“We are extremely grateful; this is the picture we must ensure our children are part of in the global movement,” she said.
The Managing Director, First Bank, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, said the bank had always taken it upon itself to be part of where it operated.
Adeduntan said the bank was in business not just for profit, but for economic growth of the country and development of neighbourhood.
A representative of the students, Miss Sherifat Umar, a SS2 student of Elegbata Senior High School, Lagos Island, commended Sanwo-Olu’s efforts and administrative acumen in ensuring their future was structured.
Umar promised that the e-learning devices would be properly used, toward enhancing their education.
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
First anniversary: Ayade lauds C/River lawmakers’ patriotism, dedication
Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River, on Thursday, commended the leadership and members of the state House of Assembly for their steadfastness, patriotism and dedication to parliamentary duties since their inauguration on June 11, 2019.
The governor gave the commendation in his congratulatory message to the assembly, issued by Mr Christian Ita, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity in Calabar.
He noted that the state legislature had so far performed excellently through robust engagement and dutiful discharge of its law making and oversight functions.
Ayade added that the assembly had initiated people-oriented laws, which, he said, were the products of sound legislation and leadership.
“Since the inauguration of the Ninth Assembly last year, the House has given unalloyed support to the other two arms of government, especially the executive arm, without compromising its independence.
“There is no doubt that the honourable members of the current assembly have the interest of their constituents and the entire state at heart, considering the laws they had passed so far,” Ayade said.
The governor expressed profound gratitude to the lawmakers for demonstrating legislative sagacity during the trying times, occasioned by the COVID-9 pandemic.
He explained that the lawmakers had been an integral part of the epic fight against the global pandemic, adding the feat had positioned Cross River on the global map as a COVID-19-free state in Nigeria.
“The legislative backing we have enjoyed from the assembly in the past one year has seen us attaining the enviable status of a COVID-19-free state,” he said.
Ayade implored the assembly to sustain the legislative tempo by enacting more people-oriented laws that would assist government in ensuring good governance and constructive policies and programmes targeted at moving the people of the state out of poverty.
“With the foundation laid within the past one year, the journey for a four-year term has just begun.
“We must spare no effort in building an industrialised Cross River that will continue to provide jobs and put food on the table of the ordinary man.
“This should be our common ground, if we must leave behind an indelible mark for posterity to know that Cross River once witnessed a government that did its utmost best to transform the lives of the citizens through the right decisions and policies, pursued with consummate exactitude.
“I enjoin our honourable members, who are the representatives of the people and the closest to them at the grassroots, to continue to mobilise them to show more understanding and support to the government, as we work hard to make Cross River a better place,” Ayade said.
Edited By: Buhari Bolaji and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq