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FirstBank Hits 27,000 Banking Agents, Deepens Financial Inclusion Across Nigeria



Nigeria’s premier bank and leading financial services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced that it now has over 27,000 Agents on its Firstmonie Agent Network. This feat reinforces the Bank’s steering role at promoting financial inclusion in the country. The over 27,000 Firstmonie Agents are present in almost all Local Government Areas across the country.

In line with the Financial Inclusion objectives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to bring financial services closer to Nigerians, Firstmonie Agent Network is a unique channel designed by FirstBank to solve the challenge of access to financial services. Firstmonie Agents are empowered with secured digital channels to provide basic financial services such as account opening, Cash-In, Cash-Out, Funds Transfer, Airtime topup, and Bill payments to customers across the country.

FirstBank, through this Financial Inclusion drive, is making very impressive impact on job creation, women and youth empowerment, and entrepreneurship development – fundamental pillars of overall economic development.

Alhaji Bashir Aliyu Muhammad Rimin-Gado, a Firstmonie Agent operating from Rimin-Gado area in Kano State said, “I have been with Firstmonie since they started and I can say that it has been a life changing experience, I have been able to build trust of the communities around me as many workers in my area have forgotten the last time they visited any bank branch for basic banking services. I am a proud employer of labour and as a result my staff are well paid and comfortable.

Sharing his excitement on the impact FirstBank Agent Banking has had in his immediate community, another Firstmonie Agent in Abia State, Ephraim Osinachi of Jozzy NetComputer Services. Nig Limited, said, “FirstBank’s Firstmonie has created an enabling opportunity for dwellers of my immediate community and neighboring towns to carry out banking transactions with less time, money, resources and risks as people don’t have to waste time embarking on long journeys to the city, added to the dangers of being robbed on the highway.”

“My experience as a Firstmonie Agent has been a rewarding one, as I receive hundredsof Thank You and God bless you from customers each day, because of the relief the Agent Banking gives to them. The people of Ukwa will always remain grateful to CBN and FirstBank for bringing banking to their door step with Agent Banking”, he concluded.

On the back of its drive to deepen inclusion through Agent Banking, FirstBank has also partnered with National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). The (NURTW) partnership seeks to leverage the human traffic and commercial activities at various motor parks across the country to ease access to financial services. First Bank is also in partnership with Azuri Technologies Limited, an off-grid power distribution company to make access to off-grid power easy, especially in rural communities, as well as other institutions, who are seeking to provide resources to cushion the effects of economic and social shocks on low income individuals.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan “Our Firstmonie Agent Banking network, spread across the nook and cranny of the country, is a demonstration of our resolve to promoting financial inclusion and business in the country. This indeed has been achieved with the concerted effort and commitment of our partners and registered Firstmonie Agents to taking banking to Nigerians regardless of where they are. With them, we are committed to leave no stone unturned at bolstering the economic involvement of many more Nigerians, especially through our robust electronic services like *894# USSD banking, Firstmobile, Firstonline and ChatBanking on WhatsApp”

FirstBank recently announced that over N1 trillion Naira had been processed through the Agent Banking Network. The First Bank to achieve this milestone.

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Sola Sobowale, Patience Ozokwor in battle for supremacy in new Glo TVC



The perennial rivalry between Nollywood jewels, Sola Sobowale aka “Toyin Tomato” and Patience Ozokwo alias “Mama Gee”, has been taken to new heights in the new television commercial recently released by Nigeria’s number one corporate promoter of Arts and Entertainment, Globacom.

In the commercial titled “Baby Babble”, Globacom demonstrates the exceptional speed, quality, reach and efficiency of the Glo 4G service. The duo re-enacted the petty jealousies and animosities underpinning relationships among some female traders who tried to “out-do” each other in all areas of endeavour.

The conflict took place in a supermarket where Sola Sobowale claimed that Patience Ozokwo was stalking her and called her “Follow-follow”. A clash then ensued first with the trolley race which Patience won when Sola was blocked by a cleaner preventing her from getting to the cashier point first.

On getting to the cashier, they both struggled to placate a tearful child with Patience saying, “she does not want over ripe things” and Sola labeling her “dudu by nature”. Patience, thereafter, put a call to her daughter, acted by Uche Nwaefuna, to send her a child’s placatory video which landed instantly on her phone and I-pad which was downloaded in a jiffy. It was a smart way to show the efficiency of the Glo data network. Sola Sobowale took Patience’s ipad and used it to lull the baby. The child was comfortedand even laughed at the video, while the appreciative mother (Bimbo Thomas) who suddenly realised that the baby had gone quiet, thanked Sola Sobowale for the gesture, thinking that she was the owner of the i-pad.

The video elicited laughter from the child.  Patience, on realizing that her rival was having the upper hand, snatched the ipad,  leaving Sola Sobowale with a smug smile of victory in the “who can lull the baby” challenge.

Patience Ozokwo and Sola Sobowale have regularly been cast as alter egos in films, skits and television commercials where they antagonize each other to entertain the audience with compelling stories enacted to resonate with the target audience.

The new TVC is a sequel to an earlier one which featured the duo and Juju musician, King Sunny Ade.

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Tambuwal, Reps Members, Other Top Nigerians Storm 20th El-Amin International School Graduation Day



It was a 2-day programme to mark the 20th Graduation day of the El Amin International Schools, Minna. Undoubtedly, the school founded by the late First lady, Maryam Babangida has not only outlived her but has continued to grow in leaps and bounds.

The first event, for parents was the pre-graduation dinner party which was  well attended. Then came the graduation day proper.  His, Excellency the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal was the Guest of honour at the event and chief launcher of the school’s KS 2019 magazine .

In attendance, were royal fathers from around the state, notable amongst them were the Emir of Minna and Emir of Agaie. It didn’t stop there. Members of the Federal House of Representatives, Commissioners, parents, guests and well wishers also came around. It was indeed a very colourful event.

The event was much as an epoch as it marked the 20th Graduation ceremony of students from the school as it was also important  in the life of the 47 young boys and girls who graduated.

Major highlights were the presentation of certificates to the graduates by the Governor of Sokoto State Aminu Tambuwal, the overall best student award which went to Zainab Malabu for being the best student in 7 major subjects. She got cash awards , a macbook laptop and a tablet courtesy of the Executive director. Earlier, in his Graduation Day Speech, the Executive Director of the Schools, Dr Muhammad Babangida , ‘This will be the tenth time we are gathering for an event like this following the demise of our visionary leader and founder of EL-Amin International Schools, the Late Dr. [Mrs.] Maryam Babangida, May Allah grant her Eternal rest in Aljanatu Firdaus.

Speaking further, he revealed that ‘when she established her schools in Minna and Abuja, over 24 years ago, one of her abiding vision was to provide quality education in an enabling and inspiring environment. While she lived this was being achieved; but now that she has gone the way of all mortals, the question has become, “Is her vision still on track ? I could answer that question with figures but I would rather mention it as I know best.’ According to him, the parents  and friends of the school are still here and their number are growing. Moreover, ‘there is an increased confluence of determination and enthusiasm to keep the founders flame burning. And the truth is that her Legacy is being sustained and enhanced and God willing by September 2019, El-Amin secondary school will be celebrating 25 years of purposeful Leadership and excellence in the Education Sector’.

Speaking further Dr Babangida revealed that ‘at El-Amin, we believe in inquiry-based learning. Students are challenged to go beyond the accumulation of factual knowledge and to address the greater questions that frame our world. We celebrate creativity and originality as vital qualities that equip individuals to reach new horizons of knowledge, appreciation and understanding. Students who leave EL-Amin are typically confident, gregarious, dynamic, entrepreneurial, and empathetic. They try new things; they ask probing questions; they dare.

This, according to him has helped in sustaining the big legacy the management inherited from founder

The Elites NG

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Access Bank wins Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Award



Africa’s leading financial institution, Access Bank, has emerged winner of the 2019 Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Awards for “Outstanding Business Sustainability Achievement” for the 4th consecutive time. The award was received in recognition of the Bank’s unwavering commitment towards embedding social, environmental and economic sustainability into its core business strategy that helps address issues across its business operations and value chain.

The prestigious award was presented to the Bank’s GMD/CEO, Herbert Wigwe at the award ceremony which took place on July 11th, 2019 at the City Hall of Karlsruhe, Germany and was attended by C-level executives, CEOs of leading global financial institutions, top German government officials, policy makers, regulators and key sustainability stakeholders.

The Global Sustainable Finance Awards in Karlsruhe honour financial institutions and related organizations and Presidents/ CEOs with significant contributions to the field of sustainable banking and finance. The awards also aim to promote the growth of sustainable financial instruments and markets worldwide, particularly in the fields of green finance and investments, financial inclusion and social finance, green equity and venture capital as well as the holistic integration of sustainability in financial institutions.

Wigwe stated that “the global finance sector plays a major role in the economy, as they provide huge amounts of capital and have the ability to influence other companies and customers across sectors through their products and services. Many banks are now placing a great deal of emphasis on driving sustainability as well as digitizing core business processes and reassessing organizational structures to be better prepared for the future of banking. This transformation illustrates the increasing desire to become a sustainable and digital bank.

“Access Bank has a corporate strategy and philosophy which places sustainability at its core. Together with our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Access Bank recently launched a five-year tenured, fixed rate green bond worth N15 Billion which is the 1st Climate Bonds Initiative Certified corporate green bond in Africa”, he said.

Access Bank remains committed to setting standards for sustainable business practices, adopting innovative solutions to build a future that is desirable, as it becomes the World’s most respected African bank. The Bank continues to make positive contributions to people and planet, in effect paving the way for its own longevity and continued profitability, making the case for sustainability to businesses everywhere.

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