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Chuks Udo Okonta
Firstmonie Agents – Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider led by Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has announced the provision of loan facilities – up to one million naira – to its banking agents. The Bank currently has over 86,300 Firstmonie Agents, spread across the country’s 772 Local Government Areas.
With its location in every neighborhood, Firstmonie Agents have been integral to filling the financial exclusion gap, providing convenient banking services that are easily accessible, thereby saving time and travel costs for individuals in the suburbs and remote environments that have no access to financial services.
The Bank’s financial inclusion activities spear-headed by the indefatigable Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, is in line with the mandate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure the availability of affordable financial products and services to all individuals and groups of people in the country; irrespective of location, literacy levels, familiarity with technology and accessibility to modern infrastructural facilities. The Firstmonie Agent channel is amongst the Bank’s many initiatives to expand financial access in the country.
In a recent interview, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan stated that “For us at Firstbank, we have been very deliberate in the articulation and execution of our agent banking value proposition and go-to-market strategy. The execution of our agent banking proposition focuses on areas where the impact is real and significant – financial inclusion where it matters the most!
To demonstrate the above focus, over 50% of Firstmonie’s agents are in the rural areas, contributing significantly to the development of the rural economy. We have achieved this feat by partnering with and enrolling existing MSMES in the rural areas into our agent banking network. In doing this, we have built the most expansive bank-led agent banking network in Africa. Through Firstbank’s agent banking proposition and network, the Bank is creating sustainable socioeconomic value and empowering rural communities in unique ways.