In a bid to strengthen financial inclusion in Nigeria, Firstbank has decided to empower its over 120,000 Firstmonie Agents spread across 772 Local Government Areas in the country with an N100 billion loan.
The loan, according to the financial institution will help the agents to grow their businesses, whilst being at an advantage to contribute to national development.
Launch a year ago, the Agent Credit scheme was created by the banking giant to promote and expand the business activities of its foremost agent banking platform – Firstmonie Agents – whilst putting them at an advantage to positively impact their immediate environment.
Firstmonie Agents have been integral to bridging 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 are 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.
Reiterating the Bank’s role in deepening financial inclusion in the country, Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, said “we are truly excited about the tremendous impact of the Agent Credit on the performance of our Firstmonie Agents nationwide. Since the introduction of the Agent Credit to support our ‘Human ATMs’ as we fondly call our Firstmonie Agents, they have recorded immense growth in their businesses, at levels they never envisaged in such a short period.
Our key goal is to continue to deliver financial services to the underserved and unbanked populations, employing modern technology for processing real-time transactions and in doing so, contribute to building capacities and learning new skills in information technology, cash management and relationship management for our FirstMonie agents.
We encourage our Firstmonie Agents to keep being exemplary in setting the pace to promote financial inclusion as we collectively work towards the continuous growth and development of the national economy.”