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FirstBank targets 1m students in free e-learning platform

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited says it is targeting one million students in free e-learning solutions platform in partnership with Roducate and Lagos State Government.

Dr Adesola Adeduntan, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, stated this on Thursday, in a statement in Lagos.

Adeduntan said the gesture was in furtherance of the bank’s resolve to close the gap of the disruption in children’s education due to schools’ closure following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adeduntan said thousands of students had already signed up to access the e-learning solutions, noting that the bank’s target was one million students.

He said the “Roducate e-learning platform” was structured in line with the government’s accredited curriculum for primary, secondary and tertiary schools across various fields of academic endeavours.

Adeduntan said “it includes tutorial videos to reinforce the learning engagement as well as assignments and mock exam to test the students’ knowledge and progress in the course of studying.

“In addition, learning on the platform enables one to take notes for quick reference.

“In view of the need to foster extra-curricular activities – beyond academic pursuit – the Roducate e-learning platform is configured with exciting features to make learning exciting and fun.

“These features include podcasts and various games such as brain pulse, monster munch etc. which allows one to play with other students online thereby building relationships and promoting interactive learning.

“The partnership with Lagos State has seen us provide low-end devices for students preloaded with Roducate offline; content which include government accredited curriculum for primary through secondary education and several university courses.

“This solution will see Lagos State offer children in the lower bracket, who may not have access to devices or data from home affordable smart phones preloaded with the curriculum.

“The phones have SIMs and limited data tied only to the Roducate learning product, which means the recipients cannot browse, encouraging safe learning but can still submit tests and mock exams.

“We encourage parents and guardians to have their children and wards registered in this initiative so their educational development is not held back”, he stated.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

Economy

FirstBank leverages technology for customers’ virtual accounts opening

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FirstBank of Nigeria Limited has put in place measures to enable customers open accounts through their mobile phones, without visiting its branches nationwide.

Mr Chuma Ezirim, FirstBank Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, said in a statement on Friday in Lagos, that investment in its mobile banking infrastructure was in furtherance of  deepening financial inclusion in the country.

Ezirim said that investment in the bank’s mobile banking infrastructure would enable account opening to be carried out on its *894# USSD banking, FirstMobile (self-service telephone banking) and its website –www.firstbanknigeria.com.

He said that account opening could also be carried out by bank’s staff, through the Direct Sales Executive (DSE) application installed on their mobile phone, ATMs and the bank’s over 55,000 FirstMonie Agents spread across the country.

“Opening an account with FirstBank through any of these means is seamless, convenient, fast, and user-friendly.

The DSE App is an end to end encrypted mobile application installed on the phones of FirstBank staff which enables them to open an account for to-be customers.

“Upon the completion of the account opening process via the DSE App, the customer is notified of his or her account number through text message on the mobile phone used to register the account.

With FirstBank’s *894# USSD banking, various activities are carried out on mobile phone across the four major GSM network operators in the country without the use of the internet.

“To open an account via this means, dial *894# then select ‘open an account’ to provide the information required or by simply dialling *894*0#,” Ezirim said.

He further said, “the bank currently has over 9.5 million of its nearly 20 million customers on its USSD banking platform.”

According to him, the FirstMonie Agent Banking is an agent bank initiative designed to take banking closer to people, thereby bridging the gap between the banked and unbanked.

FirstMonie is a channel through which various banking activities like FirstBank account opening, funds transfer, bill payments, data and call credit recharge services, amongst others are carried out.

“The agent banking initiative has also contributed to reducing poverty, being responsible for the indirect employment of over 150,000 people across the country,” the group executive stated.

Ezirim said that beyond opening an account in any of the over 700 branches, the bank was delighted with the investments at reinventing its business processes over the years, especially with the use of technology.

“This has been critical to staying relevant in the industry for over 126 years and being the financial partner of the first choice to all customers and Nigerians, irrespective of where they are,” he said.

The group executive noted that creation of the virtual ways of opening account reinforced the bank’s  resolve to ensure that more people have access to banking.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

 

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Banking

FirstBank will maximise COVID-19 induced opportunities — Adeduntan

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited has assured its stakeholders that it will optimally maximise the opportunities from the disruptions occasioned by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the economy to their advantage.

Dr Adesola Adeduntan, FirstBank Chief Executive Officer, gave the assurance on Thursday at the bank’s Virtual Corporate Customers forum webinar.

The News Agency of Nigeria, reports that the forum had the theme: Navigating the Financial Impact of COVID-19 – Business Leaders’ Role in Finding a ‘New Normal’.

Adeduntan said that the bank would continue to leverage the changes to reduce cost of doing business.

He said that the bank had strengthened its digital channels, noting that 85 per cent of its transactions were now on alternative channels.

Adeduntan said the bank would continue to push this to reach the 90 per cent set target.

COVID-19 is giving business leaders an opportunity to rethink on an established wisdom.

“It is a major crisis that we need to deal with and we must change it from a bad to good crisis.

“It offers an opportunity to reinvent our business. We have to think without the box,”Adeduntan said.

According to him, the bank is looking at several opportunities to do things differently to achieve desired result.

Speaking on the topic “Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on the Nigeria Financial Sector,”the FirstBank CEO said the pandemic had put significant pressure on revenue and profits of commercial banks.

He said that the banking industry was witnessing more stringent interest rates, higher foreign exchange funding cost and concerns on level of foreign reserves, among others.

The bank chief said that the pandemic had led to uptick in the level of non-performing assets and increase in the level of cyber attacks due to migration to digital channels.

Adeduntan assured customers that the bank would overcome the pandemic, having been in existence for the past 126 years.

He said that FirstBank was already in existence when the first pandemic of 1918 occurred.

“It weathered it and would still shake off COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our customers are right in there at the centre of our business,” Adeduntan

He said that the bank had unveiled enhanced palliative measures to help its customers and Nigerians through the times of COVID-19 lockdown.

According to him, the bank has introduced moratorium to give customers more time to repay their loans.

Mr Ini Ebong, FirstBank Group Executive, Treasury & Financial Institutions, said that collapse of oil price, oil price war, COVID-19 pandemic and global lockdown affected the foreign exchange market.

Ebong said the foreign exchange market was under immense pressure due to exit of portfolio investors.

He said that demand for dollars was heightened due to collapse of oil price and Coronavirus pandemic.

Ebong explained that steps taken so far by the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to support the economy would bring back liquidity.

“If we create a good conducive environment, portfolio managers will still come back to our market,” he said.

Mr Wole Obayomi, Partner, KPMG, said tax was part of life, while noting that no country had cancelled tax payment because of COVID-19.

Speaking on the topic, “Tax Advisory: Market Disruptions,” Obayomi advised corporates to ensure payment of tax as and when due, to reduce tax bills in form of penalties.

He said that corporates could engage tax authorities for payment extension if they forsee late payment due to the global pandemic.

Obayomi, however, called on the Federal Government to suspend the new Value Added Tax increase to 7.5 per cent till 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Also speaking, Ms Bunmi Bajomo, FirstBank Group Head, Corporate Banking Group (Manufacturing), noted that fundamental change requires fundamental actions by corporates, governments, customers and consumers.

Speaking on the topic: “Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on the Manufacturing Sector”, Bajomo, said, ”there is always an opportunity in any crisis.”

She said that companies with strong balance sheet would come out stronger and marginal players would struggle.

According to her, corporates should be careful and smarter with operational expenses.

Bajomo said that actions corporates take would determine where they would be postCOVID-19.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Economy

Lockdown extension: FirstBank unveils palliative measures for customers

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited has introduced palliative measures for customers to give them some relief, in view of the challenges of COVID-19 lockdown extension.

Dr Adesola Adeduntan, FirstBank Chief Executive Officer, made the announcement in a statement in Lagos on Thursday.

Adeduntan said the bank was introducing special waivers on repayment fees on its credit cards and a 60-day loan moratorium on First Edu and First Trader Solution.

FirstEdu loan is available to private schools owners who require extra funds for the smooth running of their operations

First Trader Solution is a short-term overdraft facility offered to traders in pre-approved market locations who deal in fast moving goods.

“For us, the extended COVID-19 lockdown in some states is a time to double down on efforts to see how we can ease the impact this may have on our customers.

“We have therefore enhanced palliative measures as we ask ourselves how can we help you through these times.

“Our aim with the range of solutions is to help cushion the impact of the toll on employment and livelihoods,” Adeduntan stated.

He noted that the bank would continue to work tirelessly to provide essential banking services throughout various alternative channels to ensure efficient service delivery.

According to him, the bank will keep things going in spite of coronavirus.

COVID-19 will neither defeat us nor slow us down and we will continue to support you because you have empowered us to do so by choosing to bank with us.

“We are also doing a lot to keep our promise not to forget the children who can be overlooked at this time, as we drive the effort to move one million to e-learning with a number of great partners who have come on board from within and outside the continent,” he said.

Adeduntan noted that FirstBank in partnership with IBM would provide opportunities for the acquisition of digital skills including coding, artificial intelligence and data science & analytics.

“Apart from the new perspective to problem solving that coding ability gives, it has progressed to a very critical career skill sought by employers.

“To this end, through IBM Digital Nation curriculum, we promote opportunities to learn skills of the future.

“In keeping with who we are as FirstBank, our commitment to self-development and continuous improvement is never far from our thinking.

“As such, we are encouraging all to consider and register for any of the excellent programmes being offered free by Ivy League schools and have curated a list of them covering topics such as management, personal development and entrepreneurship, which can be found on our website.

“In addition, we are excited to inform you that the Lagos State Government & Roducate initiative kicked off this week with the government accredited curriculum for primary, secondary and tertiary schools,” he said.

According to him, the bank will share more on this and other partnerships over the next few days.

“We are holding up our side; and now more than ever uphold our promise to you to be here for you and put You First always.

“We remain fully persuaded that together we will overcome this too and our experience over 126 years tells us the solutions lie within us,” Adeduntan said.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Economy

COVID-19: FirstBank donates N1bn, reiterates commitment to safety of Nigerians

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced the donation of N1 billion toward the joint effort by the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID). Dr Adesola Adeduntan, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, made this known in a statement in Lagos on Monday.

Adeduntan said the donation was to rapidly expand health facilities; especially for testing, isolation and treatment, in the fight against COVID-19.

He said it was also for the provision of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) facilities pivotal to controlling the spread, and importantly, treating individuals diagnosed with COVID- 19.

The bank chief said that the donation was in addition to the bank’s drive to move one million children to e-learning, together with an early partner -– Roducate —  as recommended by the Ministry of Education, Lagos State

He said the bank had also reiterated its preparedness to provide essential banking services through its alternative channels to customers in line with the 14-day stay home directive for Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.

“We promise to continue to look at all areas of intervention where our business infrastructure, reach, digital platforms and other natural strengths lie and can be deployed to further support all efforts for Nigerians; young and old alike.

“To that end, we will continue to communicate ways in which we can do more together.

“We thank our community of friends, customers and other stakeholders who have continued to send us ideas and initiatives and are gladdened at the solidarity we see as Nigerians come together to tackle this under one umbrella.

“Please stay safe and let’s work together to flatten the curve”, Adeduntan stated.

FirstBank is the premier bank in West Africa and Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion bank for over 125 years.

With over 750 business locations and 44,000 Banking Agents spread across 99 per cent of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 15 million customers.

It has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle
(NAN)

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Economy

COVID-19: FirstBank closes physical branches

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First Bank of Nigeria on Friday announced the closure of its physical branches in the light of COVID-19 and the resultant lockdown  in different states of the federation.

The bank made the announcement in a mail to its depositors on Friday entitled: ‘Physical branches closed, virtual branches open’.

“In light of COVID-19 and the lockdown being experienced in different state,  be informed that we have made arrangements to ensure availability of ATM services at our branches across the country.

“We, however, urge you to make use of our alternative channels for all transactions during these period.

“All our alternative channels will be available for you daily,”  the bank said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the bank had recently announced measures it took to control the spread of the COVID–19.

In a statement, the bank’s Group Head,

Mrs Folake Ani-Mumuney,  assured stakeholders of  business continuity management.

“Embedded in our corporate strategy is business continuity management that ensures delivery of products, services and initiatives to our stakeholders and enabling the economy in the long-term with minimal impact.

“Therefore, we have employed necessary measures to keep our employees, customers and the general public safe-guarded and sensitised on preventive steps to flatten the curve at the fastest possible rate.

“These include the deployment of temperature measuring tools, hand sanitisers and face masks and adopting social distancing including utilising virtual meetings,” she said.

She added that the bank had  cancelled owned and partnered planned events in the interim,  s

uspended staff travels and put measures in place to identify and communicate to staff arriving from affected countries to self-quarantine, following the established protocols by the World Health Organisation and the Federal Government.

“We implore all our customers to embrace cashless transactions across our self-service platforms such as *894# USSD banking services, FirstMobile, WhatsApp Banking.

“Others are First Online for needs such as  fund transfer,  bill payment, credit and internet data recharge and much more.

“In need of quick loans, these self-service platforms are also designed to meet  immediate needs through our FirstAdvance service,” she said.

Ani-Mumuney said that the bank was committed to protecting the health and safety of all its staff, customers and host communities.

She expressed the optimism that, with collective efforts, Nigeria would soon win the fight against coronavirus.

 

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Ijeoma Popoola
(NAN)

 

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Health

FirstBank restates commitment to promoting gender equality

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Dr Adesola Adedmyuntan, Chief Executive Officer, FirstBank Nigeria, has restated the bank’s commitment to continue promoting an enabling environment for women to thrive and reach their maximum career potential.

Adeduntan said this during the maiden anniversary celebration of FirstBank Women Network and International Women’s Day on Saturday in Lagos.

He noted that FirstBank Women Network was one of the bank’s initiatives created to ensure equal opportunities for women in the workplace.

According to him, it is also to help them leverage the opportunities presented by enabling them to contribute even more if given the necessary strategic support and an intentionally enabling environment.

“FirstBank recognises the fact that gender parity is an essential factor for influencing the advancement of institutions, economies and societies, hence its commitment to promoting same and equipping women for senior and executive management positions.

“Last year, we launched this network on International Women’s Day. This is so because the activities of the Network are at par with the essence of the International Women’s Day celebration.

“Marking International Women’s Day is significant because it creates the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the social, cultural, political and economic achievements of women across the globe,” he said.

Adeduntan said the global focus of the celebration included equality, total respect, appreciation and love toward women for their achievements and invaluable contributions to human growth and development.

He noted that the emphasis of the celebration brought to fore the fact that an equal world was an enabled world, thus stressed that everyone was charged with the responsibility to promoting a gender equal world.

“FirstBank is already at it; with key positions occupied by women, the position of the Board Chairman is one good example,” he said.

Adeduntan added that recent appointments in the bank in the last year had seen more women in leadership positions, which included Group Executive, Corporate Banking Group, Energy & Infrastructure and Group Head, Banking Operations & Services, among others.

He reiterated the bank’s commitment to advancing  the workspace for more women to thrive and reach their maximum potentials.

“I therefore urge everyone of us present, male and female, to make a conscious effort to create an enabling world by promoting a gender-equal world,” Adeduntan said.

Also, Ms Rosie Ebe-Arthur, Group Head, Human Capital Management Development,

FirstBank, said  FirstBank Women Network was created to empower FirstBank women to achieve more.

“We wanted it to be a project that is merit driven and for women in FirstBank to grow and attain leadership positions and contribute more to the sustainability, strategy development and building of the bank,” Ebe-Arthur said.

Commenting, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, FirstBank of Nigeria, commended the group’s initiative and urged them to remain focused as they strove for gender equality within the workforce.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)

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Oil & Gas

Funding key to achieving local content — Firstbank

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/Ms Bashirat Odunewu, Group Executive, Energy Infrastructure, CBG, First Bank Ltd. said that funding was key to achieving local content in the county.

Odunewu spoke as one of the panelists at a session at the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), in Abuja, on Wednesday.

She said that funding projects that had local content remained a big challenge in the industry due to lack of return on investment.

“ Funding is the heartbeat of local content but what we have observed is that people don’t think of funding before signing a contract.

“It is very important to know that once you are pursuing a contract, you should be able to articulate how it will be funded,” she said.

She noted that most local contractors did not make use of professionals to manage finances, hence monitoring cash inflow remained a big challenge.

“I will like to advise contractors that to achieve local content, we must take funding as key.

“Most projects that could drive local content could take between 500,000 dollars and 500 million dollars; it is imperative that they articulate the funding process well to enable the project not to fail.

“Part of why many contracts fail is that when they start and they don’t articulate the funding and management they begin to owe small contractors and eventually the contract will not deliver.

“We must take funding seriously if we want to achieve local content for economic growth and development,” she added.

Also, speaking Mr Bank Anothny Okoroafor, President Petroleum Technologist Association of Nigeria (PETAN), said that establishment of the local content Act was the best thing that had happened to Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

He said that the  Act had brought several changes and development in the oil and gas sector adding that it had helped in job creation.

“Many Nigerians now own oil rigs, about three million jobs have been created and capacity built due to the Act.

“The Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), should have national award for what it has contributed to the sector,” he added.

Also, Prof. Wunmi Iledare, Former President Nigeria Association of Energy Economies (NAEE), said that local content was about values.

He said that all over the world, Nigeria local content Act had been the banner for its contribution to the sector.

He said that the country had been able to improve the local capacity participation in the industry.

“What we need to do now is to do continuous evaluation of curriculum to enable the industry and the academic to embrace to move the industry,” he added.

He called for more incentives to help motivate more people to study some courses to sustain some areas of study in the industry.

Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Donald Ugwu

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Economy

FirstBank tasks SMEs on capacity building to remain relevant, competitive

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First Bank of Nigeria Ltd on Thursday tasked Small and Medium Enterprises  (SMEs) operating in the country on capacity building for them to remain relevant and competitive in the future.

Mrs Olufunke Smith, the bank’s Group Head, Retail Banking, Lagos Island 1, stated this at the FirstBank SMEConnect Business Clinic in Lagos.

The Clinic had as its theme: ‘Positioning your business to thrive in 2020.”

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Business Clinic was in partnership with Traction Venture Partners.

Smith said for SMEs to survive, they must position themselves as a learning business by continually expanding their capacity to exist and be competitive in the future.

“Today, the advancement of technology has made it possible for an entrepreneur to start a business with just an idea and a mobile phone.

“A small business may not need a physical structure or many staff to be successful.

“Most job roles have been taken over by applications that can run unaided once the right data is inputted.

“Therefore, for SMEs to survive today, they must position themselves as a learning business by continually expanding their capacity,” she said.

Smith said that FirstBank had recognised the need to offer more than traditional banking services in order to serve SMEs adequately.

“As a leading banking services solutions provider, FirstBank has continued to set the pace in the financial services industry, coming up with new initiatives to provide excellent products and services for its esteemed customers.

“For over 125 years, we have provided financial services for small businesses and have seen some of these businesses transform into corporations.

“FirstBank has recognised that for it to serve SMEs adequately, there is a need to offer more than traditional banking services.

“We know that connecting SMEs to the right information and business tools can save turnaround time, cost and give them a competitive edge in the sector that they operate.

“It is on this knowledge that we have created value propositions for SMEs that cover financial and non-financial services,” Smith said.

According to her, the bank’s SME proposition was based on seven pillars namely capacity building, market, infrastructure, talent for business development, policy & regulation, finance and resources.

She noted that the Business Clinic was in line with the bank’s commitment to building capacity through advisory and demonstration of its interest in the growth and development of small businesses in Nigeria.

Smith said that the bank would be holding several Business Clinics, workshops and seminars across the country in 2020 to strengthen SMEs growth and development.

On the reasons for FirstBank’s commitment to SMEs, she said that SMEs are the bedrock of any nation.

“SMEs is the bedrock of any nation; you have to ensure that SMEs can grow. It’s when you have SMEs that are functional that the nation too can grow.

“Don’t forget that they employ a lot of people, no matter if its two or 20 or 50 ,when you have strong SMEs , it provides employment; they come up with all kinds of services that maybe some traditional corporations don’t come up with.

“So, for us in FirstBank, its our responsibility and its part of giving back to the society to ensure that we continue to develop SMEs in whatever role we can — capacity building, training, even on how to write business plans,” she said.

Mr Dalapo Adejuyigbe, the Managing Partner, Traction Venture Partners, said that the company focused on enabling the SMEs ecosystem in emerging markets to succeed.

Adejuyigbe said that the company’s major focus right now was Nigeria, stressing the need for sound SMEs for desired economic growth and development.

He said that TractionVenture Partners was creating a digitally-enabled adviser for SMEs, for them to make the needed impact in the country.

“We are creating a digitally-enabled adviser for SMEs that can help them grow.

“A lot of SMEs right now require growth and advisory, but a lot of times they cannot afford it,” Adejuyigbe said.

He said that the company had democratized its different services by making them affordable and accessible to SMEs.

The managing partner said that the company engages SMEs in two forms, either through SME partners (banks or telcos) or work directly with SMEs.

Adejuyigbe said that FirstBank had been its core client in achieving its goal in helping SMEs in Nigeria.

“FirstBank has been our core client in basically achieving our goals to help SMEs;  we have worked with FirstBank on our diagnostic tool that’s diagnostic SMEs can take to essentially help them understand their business,” he added.

Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Oluwole Sogunle

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Banking

FirstBank reiterates commitment to nation building

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 First Bank of Nigeria Limited says it is committed to building the nation through youth empowerment programmes aimed at deepening the knowledge of the next generation of Nigerians on financial independence and wealth creation.

Mrs Ibukun Awosika, FirstBank’s Chairman, stated this at bank’s Youth Empowerment Series 3.0 programme held in Lagos  with the theme “Let’s Talk.”

Awosika said the youth empowerment series was designed to sensitise the youth on the importance of financial discipline, savings and investment.

“FirstBank is committed to nation building and any institution that is committed to nation building cannot avoid investing in building and enlightening the next generation of Nigerians.

“Essentially, what we are doing is equipping the next generation as a seed of nation building.

“FirstBank does this not because it wants to spend money but because it believes in the next generation that will change the country with financial knowledge,” Awosika stated.

She noted that Nigeria needed to build a generation of entrepreneurs that would address unemployment.

“We need to create jobs and we need to create an entrepreneurial mindset so they can be solution providers and business builders.

“It’s when you build businesses that you can create jobs.

“Government cannot create jobs, it can employ some people into the civil service but the bulk of the population will still remain in the private sector and you can only do that by creating enterprises.

“The most successful way to do it is to educate, empower and to reset the mind of the youth,” she said.

The chairman urged the youth to take charge of their lives by making the right decision at any given time and avoid been vulnerable.

“Early enough you must have a sense of ownership of your life, when you fail it’s not your parents that failed.

“Everything you do is essentially for you and the sense of ownership is very important, you must fight and protect it.

“If you don’t do well your parents will be sad, but it’s your future,” Awosika added.

According to her, youths should pay attention to the decisions they make for a better future.

She stated that they must set their priorities right to be ahead of their peers by making sacrifice today towards their future.

Awosika said the youth must treat anybody they come across with respect and treasure them because they would likely meet them again in life.

She also stressed the importance of network, noting that, “your network determines your networth.”

Earlier, in a welcome address, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, the bank’s Managing Director, said the youth empowerment summit was intended to grow the future of teenagers and youths on the path of financial freedom.

“FirstBank is passionate about the youth, we recognise that the future of our dear nation depends on you.

“We are promoting the advancement of the nation by taking conscious steps to prepare the future generation for meaningful growth and development,” Adeduntan said.

Adeduntan represented by Mr Gbenga Shobo, FirstBank Deputy Managing Director, said the bank would remain committed to national and global long-term economic development.

“The youth empowerment summit  is one of the remarkable investment we have made at FirstBank to prepare the Nigerian youths and to enable you become enterprise minded.

“About 35 per cent of our customer base is actually youth. People don’t think so because they say FirstBank, they think its is an old peoples bank but the biggest segment we have is the youth.

“We decided that especially in a country where blue collar jobs, white collar jobs, are getting scarce; that it’s important to prepare the youth in entrepreneurship in Nigeria,” said Adeduntan.

He explained that the programme, which commenced in 2017 was aimed at sensitising the youth on the importance of financial discipline, savings and investment.

“This year’s summit focuses on entrepreneurship in areas of music, fashion, media and photograpghy.

“We urge you to begin today  by making a conscious effort to imbibe the savings culture, this is a habit you find useful in developing financial and planning habit at this early age,” he said.

Mrs Oduolayinka Osunloye, Director, Marketing & Innovation, Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN), called on youths to be focused in whatever they doing for a better tomorrow.

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