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WITH FIRSTBANK’S SPARK, GLAD TIDINGS ECHO FOR LESS PRIVILEGED CHILDREN

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L-R: Matthew Daniel, student of Wesley School; Olusegun Alebiosu, Chief Risk Officer, FirstBank; Seyi Olusanya, student of Wesley School; Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer, FirstBank; Olayiwola Adeola, student of Wesley School and Mr. Kehinde Alimi, Principal, Wesley School 1, during FirstBank's visit to Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired at Surulere, Lagos as part of activities marking FirstBank's 2019 CR&S week.

Their excitement was exceptional that Saturday morning on 6 July 2019. It was an overflowing river of joy and gratitude they could not contain, pumping from their hearts. The students and staff of Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired, Surulere, Lagos had a good reason to be ecstatic.

The Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan – First Bank of Nigeria Limited – and a team of volunteers from the nation’s premier financial institution visited the school to demonstrate acts of random kindness. Provisions (Food supplies, drinks, toiletries) and educational materials were given to the school to cater for the hundreds of children under the care of Mr. Kehinde Alimi, Principal of Wesley School 1.

The visit to Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired was part of the 2019 CR&S Week activities by FirstBank. The Bank had its maiden CR&S week in 2017.
Expressing his gratitude, Alimi began his speech by asking the students of the school to shout, ‘three hallelujahs’, thereon stating “I sincerely thank every member of your team (FirstBank) for their kindness and generosity. For all you have given us, God will replenish you back a million times. To have reached this stage as an institution has not been easy, but we have been able to pull through with the support of God and organisations like yours. The sheer quantum of materials you have brought also shows that you recognise that we are two schools and not just one – Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired 1 for senior students and Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired 2 for the junior students. You have proved that FirstBank is indeed the first while others follow.”
Like Oliver Twist, Alimi couldn’t resist asking for more: “We thank you most sincerely for today’s visit and we kindly enjoin you to continue to find time to interact with us. For us to have been in your thoughts means that you are concerned about our welfare, but we will still be approaching you with requests. We want you to find time out of no time to come and be part of our programmes. We are grateful for your efforts and pray that God will continue to sustain the Bank and all its staff. Thank you very much for all your cumulative efforts.”
Dr. Adeduntan had explained that the FirstBank team came to the school to demonstrate the kindness that it preaches and to assure students and staff of its support.

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He said, “we believe that if all of us can show acts of kindness to people around us, we will make the world we live in a much better place for everyone. Our decision to come here today is to show appreciation to the management for shouldering the enormous responsibility of taking care of these children with special needs. This visit is also to assure the children who are schooling here that, as the popular saying goes, you will not walk alone.”

Commendably, Twenty-three other charity homes/institutes including camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were visited by FirstBank staff volunteers, led by senior members of staff. The Executive Director, Public Sector, FirstBank, Abdullahi Ibrahim with other volunteer employees visited the School for the Blind, Jabi, Abuja while the Group Head, Corporate Banking, Remi Ajose-Adeogun visited the Down Syndrome Foundation of Nigeria, Fagba, Lagos. Other visited locations were Madinatu and Almiskin IDP Camps, Maiduguri amongst others. Food supplies (provisions, drink, toiletries) and educational materials were delivered to all the visited homes.

The wide range of activities of the FirstBank CR&S week underscores SPARK (Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness), a values-based initiative by the Bank which focuses on creating and reinforcing a conscious mindset of showing compassion, empathy as well as giving to others. It is aimed at inspiring people to make a difference as it is designed to promote kindness to one another. It is executed through a range of strategically designed activities including visits to homes for the less privileged members of society and talks about SPARK.

FirstBank’s visit to the various homes was particularly thoughtful in the light of the predicament of the less privileged and persons with disabilities in the country, estimated to be around 19 million by the National Population Commission in 2018. Many of these persons face several challenges including hunger, starvation, stigmatisation, discrimination and lack of access to healthcare, housing and education.

Though the government moved to intervene in their plight when President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 in January, there has yet been the expected respite for them hence, most of them rely on the benevolence of public-spirited institutions like FirstBank and individuals.

Considering the number of challenges that Nigerians living with disabilities face, especially lack of access to healthcare, housing and education, there’s no gainsaying the fact that they need all the care and support they can get. And by continuously including them in its plans since it commenced the enlarged CS&R Week in 2017, FirstBank has been at the forefront of providing support for the less privileged Nigerians by reiterating that no assistance is too much to help them live a fulfilled life.

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With the impacts made across over half a dozen countries that play host to the Bank’s business operations, the FirstBank 2019 CR&S week reinforced that philanthropy is no doubt embedded in its DNA.

About FirstBank

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading banking services solutions provider in Nigeria for 125 years. With some 15 million customer accounts, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services with over 750 business locations. The Bank 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.

Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.
FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is to always put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of first choice in building your future”. Our brand promise is to always deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.

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Jumia: Promoting Nigerian Economy through MSMEs Empowerment

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MSMEs Empowerment

 

The role of micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) in areas of promoting inclusive growth, increasing the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), creation of employment opportunities and wealth creation, the world over, can never be overemphasised. Their immense contributions to the growth of their micro and macroeconomics is the reason countries, developed and developing, highly regard their MSMEs sector.

 

According to the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), MSMEs make up over 90 percent of all firms and account for an average of 60 to 70 percent of total employment and 50 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of any economy. In Nigeria, however, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the sector has over 37 million MSMEs and employs over 54 million skilled and unskilled labour while contributing about 54 percent to GDP of the country.

 

To underscore the importance of the role the sector plays towards the economic development of every country, almost all countries make special provisions to aid the growth of the sector. For example, while the Indian government created a separate ministry to cater to their needs, Nigeria established the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to specifically promote the development of the MSME sector in Nigeria. The efforts of Nigerian government in boosting the sector, notwithstanding, the sector needs more facilitators if it would catch up with its counterparts in other developed and developing countries.

 

One company that stands out in complementing the efforts of the government in facilitating the growth of the MSMEs in the country is Jumia Nigeria, the leading pan-African e-commerce platform. The company, which started in 2012 in Lagos and currently has a presence across more than 11 African countries, has woven its operations and products to suit the peculiar needs, and also serve the interests of the MSMEs.

 

Being the leading online marketplace in Africa for a wide range of products, the company offers all manufacturers, distributors, and sellers, most of whom are MSMEs, a platform to sell their goods and services to their consumers. The company also offers logistics service, which enables the shipment and delivery of packages from sellers to consumers, and payment service, which facilitates transactions among participants active on Jamia’s platform in selected markets.

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Jumia Nigeria alone has over 15,000 active sellers, about 80 percent of whom are MSMEs, offering a wide range of goods including smartphones, consumer electronics, fashion and apparel, home and living, consumer packaged goods, beauty, and perfumes, etc. It also provides consumers with easy access to a number of services, such as restaurant food delivery, airtime recharge, etc. The Jumia platform saves each of these MSMEs the cost of marketing, renting and operating physical stores, thereby increasing their profitability and boosting their growth.

 

Only last year, the company launched the Jumia Mall, an online platform where any interested brands could reach their target audiences through advertisement and display of their products and services. This platform, with its wide reach, offers these brands, irrespective of their sizes, a much wider reach at a much-reduced price thereby reducing their cost of marketing and advertising. Many MSMEs, and even some Fortune 500 companies are taking advantage of the platform to reach their current and prospective consumers.

 

On the logistics aspect of its business, Jumia, not only uses its own vehicles but also third-party logistics companies to deliver merchandise from the sellers to the consumers. Apart from satisfying its numerous customers, Jumia has facilitated the growth of the logistics business in Nigeria by offering ready businesses, through patronage, to these third-party logistics services providers, who are mostly MSMEs. The company has over 100 local logistics services providers on its integrated network. It recently incorporated Gokada, one of the motorcycle hailing companies whose operations were recently restricted in Lagos State, saving the company from imminent collapse as a result of the regulatory restriction.

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The company also has a payment service, JumiaPay, designed to offer a safe, fast and easy solution to online payments on its platform. The service which is available in six countries – Nigeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Morocco, and Kenya – has been expanded beyond the physical goods marketplace to also include the purchase of the company’s on-demand services such as restaurant food delivery, and airtime recharge.

 

JumiaPay offers convenience to all the parties for every transaction – customers, sellers, financial institutions etc. Prior to the launch of the service in 2016, Jumia users had to use other payment platforms to make payments for purchased items. This state of affairs was fraught with issues, especially when transactions are not completed. It, then, took days to weeks to get a refund when, for example, an item you ordered for wasn’t delivered or is damaged, or doesn’t match website description etc. Jumia works with banks to provide a more secure option of payments where you get reimbursed instantly if anything goes wrong with your order. It also ensures prompt payment to the sellers once the transaction is completed.

 

On job creation, few private companies have impacted on the Nigerian economy as Jumia. They have promoted entrepreneurship by reducing the hassles that come with marketing and logistics. By offering these at reduced prices, Jumia has emboldened many prospective entrepreneurs to take up the challenge of entrepreneurship thus, not only employing themselves but also employing many other people.

 

Jumia has shown that the nation’s economic growth could be facilitated by private corporate concerns through the building of ecosystems that could empower MSMEs in every aspect of their businesses. Jumia deliberately built its ecosystem this way and it is working out, not only for the company but for the country at large.

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GTBank’s MD/CEO, Segun Agbaje to speak at Social Media Week 

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***Thursday, February 27 Is D-Day

 

 The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Segun Agbaje, is set to lead a conversation at Social Media Week Lagos on Thursday, February 27, 2020. 

Tagged “Going Beyond the Digital Experience,” Segun Agbaje’s Keynote at the Social Media Week 2020 will focus on the role of banks in Africa’s rapidly changing digital and financial services landscape.

 

As banks continue to expand their digital touch-points, Segun Agbaje will expand on why banks must think less about channels and more about contexts, in order to deliver services and experiences that enrich people’s lives. This means staying consistent in delivering human experiences that treat customers not just as part of segments but as people with individual emotions and motivations.

 

Passionate about innovation and embracing disruptive technologies, Segun Agbaje is currently driving the transformation of the Bank into a business platform that offers customers a wide range of benefits beyond banking whilst delivering the utmost in human experiences.

 

To attend Segun Agbaje’s keynote at the Social Media Week Lagos, click here to register.

See you soon!

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Financial Empowerment: UBA Launches ‘Click Credit’ to Ease Access to Cash for Customers

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UNIBEN Alumni

Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has launched ‘Click Credit’, a time loan designed to address the urgent needs of customers whose salary accounts are domiciled with the bank.

As a bank backed by a strong retail franchise with over 1,000 business offices serving 19 million customers, UBA has introduced this product in line with the bank’s mission of creating value for its customers while assisting them to meet up with their urgent needs. The loan product, already being enjoyed by millions of customers in  Nigeria will be extended to the Bank’s other franchises in Africa.  

Click Credit, which has been carefully crafted to improve the lives of the UBA customers, is a superfast loan product which will allow qualified customers to apply for up to N5 million loan and pay back over 12 months at an interest rate of 1.58% per month, with no hidden fees.

Specifically, salary earners from N25,000 per month who fall between the ages of 18 and 59 can benefit from this facility with no extra fees; no need for collaterals, no paper-work or other difficult issues when it comes to this facility; as customers can even apply via LEO, UBA Mobile Banking and UBA internet banking.

UBA’s Group Head of Retail Banking, Mr. Jude Anele, who revealed that qualified customers have begun to enjoy the service, explained that the loan provides immediate access to funds once eligibility is confirmed in less than a meeting

He said, “As Africa’s most innovative and technology-driven financial institution with an array of novel products and services tailored to the needs of its millions of customers, we have launched Click Credit, which is straightforward and more affordable than many other loan products in the market.  Its unique feature is that it meets a critical credit need for our customers”.

Anele while emphasising the critical role that credit plays in any developing and developed society, said that it is part of the customers’ financial power where they can be assisted to get the things they need, when they need them without hassles.

While explaining that this product is being rolled out first in Nigeria and subsequently in the rest of UBA’s countries of operations; he explained that UBA is committed to ensuring that Click Credit helps the bank’s customers to cover critical needs and set them up for success, having moved past that moment of need.

On her part, UBA’s Group Head, Marketing, Dupe Olusola, reiterated that UBA remains focused on empowering its customers to fund their urgent needs.

“At UBA, we work hard to be there in the moments that matter to our customers, hence, our huge investment in technology and other facilities to make banking easier and seamless,” Olusola explained, adding that the bank has deepened its focus on the most important aspect of its business which are its the customers.

To ensure ease of access, customers can apply for Click Credit by simply dialling *919*28# or via UBA’s chat bank ‘Leo’, UBA Mobile Banking app and UBA Internet Banking.

 Customers can also speak to the Bank’s  Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) about Click Credit. The terms of the loan are available at www.ubagroup.com/clickcredit.

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Also Read:  KPMG SME REPORT: FIRSTBANK NAMED BIGGEST MOVER IN 2019
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