First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced that it now has over 27,000 agents on its Firstmonie network.
This feat, according to a statement from the bank yesterday, reinforces its 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, it explained.
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 channel designed by the bank 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 top-up, 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," the statement added.
Alhaji Bashir Aliyu Muhammad Rimin-Gado, a Firstmonie Agent operating from Rimin-Gado area in Kano State, was quoted to have 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.
On the back of its drive to deepen inclusion through Agent Banking, FirstBank had also partnered with National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
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."