Firstbank Prepares 500,000 Agents to Boost financial inclusion in Nigeria
First Bank of Nigeria Limited has put plans in top gear to get up to 500,000 operators on board its agent banking platform in a bid to enhance financial inclusion across the country.
FirstBank’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan made this known during the 12th Annual Conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) held in Abuja between 24th and 25th of September 2019.
The First Bank’s CEO, who also served as the Chairman of the CIBN 2019 Conference Consultative Committee, noted 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.”
Adeduntan noted that the banking sector in Nigeria remained the primary partner to the government with regards to economic growth and development in the country.
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“If we do not utilise those opportunities and mainstream them properly, the country and the entire economy will be left behind,” he stated.
Themed: “the future of the Nigerian banking industry – 360o”, the CIBN conference had Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria as the Special Guest of Honour.
It could be recalled that in 2017, FirstBank launched its agent banking network; ‘Firstmonie Agent’, described as its ‘Human ATM’.
The Firstmonie Agents are raised to provide easy access to finance for all Nigerians, regardless of where they may be across the country.
According to the Bank, the Firstmonie Agents complement 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.
Findings showed these agents are usually owners of small businesses within communities with limited or no banking penetration. Currently First Bank has an Agent Banking strength of over 31,000 Agents, spread across 98% of the country’s 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs).