FirstBank targets 500,000 agents to boost financial inclusion

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  • Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria (middle); Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited (right); Dr Uche Olowu, President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (second right); Otunba Debola Osibogun, Non-Executive Director, FBN Holdings Plc and former President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (third left); Mr. Abdullahi Ibrahim, Executive Director, Public Sector, First Bank of Nigeria Limited (second left); and Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited (left) at the CIBN 12th Annual Banking and Finance Conference held in Abuja.

 With a view to enhancing financial inclusion across the country, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced plan to get up to 500,000 operators on board its agent banking platform.

FirstBank’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, made the disclosure at the opening ceremony of the 12th Annual Conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) held in Abuja recently.

The CIBN conference with the theme: “The future of the Nigerian banking industry – 3600” had Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria as the Special Guest of Honour.

In a remark, Dr Adeduntan, who served as the Chairman of the CIBN 2019 Conference Consultative Committee, said FirstBank would support all efforts to ensure effective financial inclusion in Nigeria.

He said, “We have a very ambitious plan to appoint about 500,000 agents across the nook and cranny of our country and to ensure that banking facilities and services are made available to all Nigerians.”

While noting that the banking sector in Nigeria remained the primary partner to the government with regards to economic growth and development in the country, Adeduntan added, “If we do not utilise those opportunities and mainstream them properly, the country and the entire economy will be left behind.”

Recall that in 2017, FirstBank launched its agent banking network, ‘Firstmonie Agent’, described as its ‘Human ATM’.

With it, the Firstmonie Agents are empowered to extend access to finance to all Nigerians, regardless of where they may be across the country, thereby complementing the Bank’s effort at reducing the unbanked in the country, whilst providing a handful of the Bank’s bespoke financial services, including account opening, cash deposit, airtime purchase, bills payment, withdrawals and money transfer.

According to the Bank, FirstMonie Agents are usually owners of small businesses within communities with limited or no banking penetration.

The Bank says it has an Agent Banking strength of over 31,000 Agents, spread across 98 per cent of the country’s 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs).

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