FirstBank MD charges youths to look beyond paid employment

THE Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, First Bank Nigeria Dr.Adesola Adeduntan has called on the unemployed and underemployed youths and operators of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to consider taking advantage of  first bank’s agent network and earn on the average, N70,000 monthly commission/income by working as Firstmonie agent.

According to him, over 210,000 direct and indirect jobs have been created to tackle unemployment through the FirstBank’s Firstmonie agent network.

He further disclosed that over 50 per cent of Firstmonie’s agents are located in the rural areas, contributing significantly to the development of the rural economy.

In his presentation titled: ‘Stimulating the development of the Nigerian Economy through inclusive growth,’ Adeduntan observed that over 97 million Nigerians, resident in rural areas, are systematically excluded from the country’s growth and development agenda.

Adeduntan who made the presentation at the University of Ibadan 2020 Alumni lecture series stated that with about 50 per cent of the country’s entire population in rural areas, achieving equitable and inclusive economic growth would require a keen focus on the rural economy.

N10.5 billion, according to him, has been paid as commission to agents as at August 2020 from the beginning of the year to the stipulated date, with the attendant multiplier effect on rural communities.

His words: “Over 15,000 of FirstBank’s Firstmonie agents are women, enabling the bank to drive gender inclusive growth within rural communities.

“Over 870,000 individuals have been economically impacted via the jobs created through the FirstBank’s FirstMonie agent banking proposition. The preponderance of poverty amongst the rural populace negatively impacts Nigeria’s per capita income level.”

In Nigeria, significant opportunities exist to accelerate economic development and inclusive growth through deliberate government policy interventions and private sector actions.

Adeduntan therefore called for mobilization and scaling up financing to the dominant sectors within the rural economy which will enable the transition to inclusive economic growth.

According to the banking guru, integrating and planning for inclusive and sustainable growth in the strategic agenda of private businesses and public institutions, should be made a priority.

“Transport infrastructure serves to facilitate the integration of the Nigerian rural and urban markets, allowing businesses to harness the full economic value of the Nigerian population at reasonable costs.

“The availability and reliability of infrastructure directly impacts the cost of production, and quality of goods and services made available.

“This will promote the efficacy of inclusive growth initiatives programs sponsored by large businesses to support the rural communities,” Adeduntan stressed.

He also observed that businesses should deliberately focus on increasing job creation, human capital development and improved service delivery especially in the rural areas to achieve an inclusive growth-led economy.

Given that financial institutions are at the epicenter of financial development that is required for growth to be inclusive, financial institutions have critical roles to play in driving inclusive growth, he said.

“As such, at FirstBank we are implementing several support initiatives that are driving financial inclusion and human capital development.

“The Agent network covers 772 of 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, today. The network has processed over 383 million successful transactions worth over NGN7.4trillion.

“FirstBank is also driving inclusive growth through its commitment to developing bespoke and scalable business solutions that serve the micro, small and medium scale businesses.

“It has developed tailored SME lending solutions for selected sectors, with focus on the agricultural value chain within the rural and semi-urban communities to fuel Nigeria’s economic growth, among others,” he stated.



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