By Itohan Abara-Laserian
Lagos, Feb. 2, 2021 First Bank of Nigeria Ltd., has announced the provision of credit facilities of up to one million naira to its Firstmonie agents across the country.
Mr Chuma Ezirim, First Bank’s Group Executive, e-Business and Retail Products, in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos, said the loan was a way of promoting business activities of the agents.
Ezirim said that Firstmonie Agents had been integral to filling the financial exclusion gap and providing convenient banking services that are easily accessible.
According to him, the agents help in saving time and travel costs for individuals in the suburbs and remote environments that have no access to financial services.
He said that the bank currently has over 86,300 Firstmonie agents, spread across the country’s 772 local government areas.
Ezirim said that the bank’s financial inclusion activities were in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria mandate to ensure the availability of affordable financial products and services to individuals and groups.
“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.
“The roles played by our Firstmonie Agents in promoting businesses across the nooks and crannies of the country cannot be overemphasised as they have continued to set the pace in extending financial inclusion to communities with little or no access to financial services.
“With our Firstmonie agents in every neighbourhood, several communities have witnessed a surge in business and financial activities, which is contributory to national growth and development.
“We commend our agents and are delighted to support them with credit facilities, which they can access 24 hours a day in less than two minutes,” Ezirim said.