With a view to enhancing financial inclusion across the country, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced its quest to get up to 500,000 operators on board its agent banking platform. This was disclosed at the opening ceremony of the 12th annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) by FirstBank’s CEO, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, who also served as the chairman of the CIBN 2019 conference consultative committee. The event was held in Abuja, September 24 to 25, 2019.
The CIBN conference, with the theme “The future of the Nigerian banking industry – 360º,” had Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria, as the special guest of honour.
In his remarks, the bank’s CEO said FirstBank would support all efforts to ensure effective financial inclusion in Nigeria.
According to Adeduntan, “We have a very ambitious plan to appoint about 500,000 agents across the nooks and crannies of our country and to ensure that banking facilities and services are made available to all Nigerians.”
He noted that the banking sector in Nigeria remained the primary partner to the government with regard to economic growth and development in the country: “If we do not utilise those opportunities and mainstream them properly, the country and the entire economy will be left behind.”
In 2017, FirstBank launched its agent banking network, Firstmonie Agent, described as its “human ATM.” The Firstmonie agents are empowered to extend access to finance to all Nigerians, regardless of where they may be across the country. The Firstmonie agents complement the bank’s effort at reducing the unbanked in the country, whilst providing a handful of the bank’s bespoke financial services, including account opening, cash deposit, airtime purchase, bills payment, withdrawals and money transfer.
According to the bank, FirstMonie agents are usually owners of small businesses within communities with limited or no banking penetration. The bank has an agent banking strength of over 31,000 agents, spread across 98 per cent of the country’s 774 local government areas.
Malta Guinness set to fuel greatness with Maltavator Challenge
The Malta Guinness brand is set to fuel the greatness of Nigerians and Africans as a whole in the second edition of the brand’s pan-African game TV show, Maltavator Challenge.
Ifeoma Agu, the brand manager, Malta Guinness, who made this known at the premier of Malta Guinness Maltavator Challenge, Season 2, held recently in Lagos, further stated that youths from five African countries would compete for the grand prize of $20,000.
She said the Maltavator Challenge was a platform where Malta Guinness showcases itself in terms of bringing to life its brand purpose, which is to fuel the can-do spirit of Nigerians.
“Our brand exists to fuel the greatness of Nigerians and Africans as well. That is why Maltavator Challenge is a pan-African TV show. The Maltavator challenge brings contestants from across five different countries in Africa. We have Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire and Ethiopia, all competing for the grand prize of $20,000,” she said.
According to Agu, the Malta Guinness group went out to five cities in Nigeria, Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Enugu and Benin, to hold auditions where young people turned out massively to compete in the Maltavator Challenge.
“In each of these five cities, we chose four finalists. At the end, we moved to Lagos for the grand finale, where we had all 20 of them slug it out for the last six positions to represent Nigeria as a country.
“So, we have six finalists who we are very proud of, that have now gone on into the season two of the Maltavator Challenge against other contestants from the other four countries. So, we have Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Cameroon competing with Nigeria at the Maltavator,” she said, adding that, through the platform, Malta Guinness was not only bringing Africans together, but also showing how the brand used its goodness, vitality and energy in fuelling the greatness of Nigeria.
“Today, what we are showing you is the first episode of this eight week-long series, and we are excited about it. This is the best time for Malta Guinness, because, yet again, we are bringing Africans together, and also showing how Malta Guinness in its goodness, vitality and energy, is fueling the greatness of Nigeria.”
On the first episode, Agu said: “Last year, in terms of achievements, we had an Ethiopian winning the pan-African TV show, but this year, we are very confident, given the crop of Nigerians we are taking to the finals. We are very positive and optimistic about the fact that a Nigerian will bring it home this year; and that is the spirit of true Naija.”
While reiterating her confidence and optimism in the Nigerian team, she said as much as the contestants were all Africans, the brand wished all of them the best.
“We know that our guys will come home with good prizes. The good thing is, other than the grand prize of $20,000, we also have consolation prizes for all participants. So, everyone actually goes home a winner,” she said.
Ex-BBNaija housemate, Khafi Kareem, media personality, Temisan Emmanuel to host The Future Awards Africa
The Future Awards Africa (TFAA) has unveiled former Big Brother Naija 2019 contestant, Khafi Kareem, and media personality, Temisan Emmanuel, as season hosts for the 14th edition of the event, scheduled to hold in Lagos.
Maintaining the theme, “Nigeria’s New Tribe,” the awards, which recently received endorsement from the United Nations, seeks to reward excellence and service among youth between 18 and 31. The annual event aims at building a strong network of inspiring persons supporting each other in the leadership space, individuals who are breaking boundaries to achieve distinction against barriers of tribe, religion, economic instability, and government policies.
Leading up to the main event, the season hosts will embark on a media tour in selected cities across Nigeria.
Speaking on the announcement, Temisan expressed excitement as he explained that, having followed TFAA, the continent’s most prestigious youth awards, for many years, he is especially looking forward to this year’s edition.
On her part, Khafi said: “Over the years, I have respected the vision of The Future Awards Africa, and I think it is a remarkable thing to celebrate young Nigerians who are excelling and making a difference. The initiative is brilliant and I’m honoured to be a part of it.”
Temisan and Khafi are billed to make a special appearance on Nigeria’s leading youth-focused talk show, Rubbin’ Minds on Channels TV, feature on Sound City FM and Urban FM radio interviews, and pay special visits to Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde, the Oyo State governor; Lamidi Adeyemi III, Alaafin of Oyo; Abel Idowu Olayinka, Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan; Seun Fakorede, Commissioner for Youth and Sports, among others.
“We look forward to receiving outstanding nominations from across the country as we get set to showcase an elite roll call of young Nigerians leading the vanguard in driving innovation, creativity, and impact against all odds,” said Bukonla Adebakin, chief operating officer of The Future Project.
In addition to the season hosts, two surprise hosts will be unveiled on the awards night, which is scheduled to hold in November.