First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) is one of Nigeria’s largest banks. The bank is committed to deepening financial inclusion, making sure people that are unbanked are catered for adequately. A proof of FBN’s commitment is the fact that it has the largest agent banking network in Nigeria, with over 86,000 banking agents across all but two local government areas in the country (772 out of 774).
The CEO of First Bank, Adesola Adeduntan, in an interview with BusinessDay, said that over 9.6 trillion naira had already been processed through the bank’s agent network. In his explanation, FirstMonie agents (the bank’s agents) have been involved in, and supported many NGOs and government’s cash transfer to the country’s poorest of the poor living in rural areas.
Adeduntan also mentioned that some of the FirstMonie agents, selected ones, have been given BVN enrolment devices. So they are able to include into the formal financial services system and open for rural dwellers, bank accounts.
FBN is also committed to ensuring and providing access to finance for SMEs, Adeduntan highlighted. The CEO said that SMEs have the potential to impact the economy, and FBN has value adding solutions that creates a functional ecosystem for them (SMEs) to thrive. The ecosystem has propositions like access to business finance and market, capacity building opportunities, connection of SMEs to talents and resources or cutting edge tools, and policy advocacy.
The propositions are aggregated on FBN’s SMEConnect platform, a platform Adeduntaun said has been well received by the SME community. They (the propositions) are value adding products and services that are easily accessible at prices that are competitive and mostly discounted. The platform itself is digital, allowing SMEs connect to what FBN is offering from anywhere in the world at their comfort.
Nigeria in focus:
Population: 200.9 million (2019)
GDP: $448.12 billion (2019)
GDP Per Capita: $2,229 (2019)