As part of its continued commitment to create an enabling environment and opportunities for the promotion of sustainable growth and development of the Nigerian economy, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has partnered with The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) to host the 25th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES#25), its annual flagship event. The Silver Jubilee edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit is themed “Nigeria 2050: Shifting Gears” and scheduled to hold on 7 – 8 October 2019 at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, would speak on “Gender Empowerment” at the plenary.
The Nigerian Economic Summit is the foremost credible platform for public-private dialogue which enables policy makers and influencers to deliberate on issues, proffer policy options with a view to a better understanding of our national economic policy direction and growth strategies. National leaders and policy influencers billed to attend the event include His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; His Excellency Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, GCON, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Hon. Minister for Finance, Budget & National Planning, Nigeria.
Other dignitaries are Senator Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan PhD, CON, President of the Senate; Right Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Mrs. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations. The Chief Host of the event is Mr Asue Ighodalo, Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.
Panelists at the event include Alhaji Aliko Dangote President/CEO Dangote Group; Mr Godwin Emefiele Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria; Bishop Matthew Kukah, Founder, The Kukah Centre; His Excellency Dr Kayode Fayemi, Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum; HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II, The Emir of Kano; Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin, Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly; Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Limited; Hon. Mrs Hannatu Mohammed, Board Member, ICPC; Mr. Chidi Ajaere, CEO, GIG Group; Mrs Juliet Anammah, CEO, Jumia Nigeria and Mr Mauricio Alarcon, MD/CEO, Nestle Nigeria Plc .
The event is billed to comprise plenary sessions, exhibitions, design workshops, dinner and the anniversary lecture as well as the presentation of awards and prizes to winners of the NES #25 essay competition and start-up pitching event.
FirstBank’s Adeduntan, Global Finance Practitioners Brainstorm at Ethical Finance Conference in Edinburgh
As part of the Bank’s financial inclusion and global thought leadership drive, the Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan participated in the 2019 Global Leaders Interactive panel session of the 2019 Ethical Finance Conference held from 8 – 9 October 2019 at RBS Conference Centre, 175 Glasgow Road, Gogarburn, Edinburgh. The event had in attendance over 500 leading finance practitioners from all over the world.
The Bank’s CEO, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, with other thought leaders, policy influencers and leading finance practitioners across the world deliberated on various topical issues that would help define and shape the transition of the global financial climate to a sustainable financial system where finance delivers positive change.
Dr. Adeduntan, along with Sarah Breeden, Bank of England; Dame Susan Rice, Banking Standards Board; Gary Gillespie, Chief Economist, Scottish Government spoke on the topic “Financing Sustainability: Designing for A Future on Earth” in the first panel session held on 8 October 2019.
Speaking on his participation at the event, Dr. Adeduntan said; “FirstBank is committed to exploring innovative opportunities that drive financial inclusion in Nigeria whilst harnessing widespread mobile-phone coverage to create low-price banking offerings across groundbreaking distribution channels, especially for the unbanked.”
“Our participation in the 2019 Ethical Finance Conference is a platform we are honoured to be in as shared knowledge with other global thought leaders and policy influencers is pivotal to promote inclusive growth in the global financial ecosystem, whilst contributing to economic growth, development and importantly, reducing poverty,” he concluded.
Customer Service Week 2019: FirstBank Celebrates, Lauds Impact of Customer Service
Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has joined the rest of the world to celebrate the 2019 Customer Service Week themed “The Magic of Service’. The weeklong event is to be celebrated from 7 – 11 October 2019 across the Bank’s over 700 branch networks in Nigeria and its FBNBank subsidiaries in over half a dozen countries across 3 continents.
The Customer Service Week is an international celebration which highlights the importance of customer service and staff who serve and support customers daily to deliver exceptional service to customers.
With its robust customer service network over the years, cutting across diverse cultures, tribes and races, transcending to its digital channels; FirstBank has since the last 125 years supported its customers’ – beyond the shores of Nigeria – at meeting their individual and business needs, thereby contributing to national growth and development. This, the bank achieves through its innovative, interactive, self-service banking platforms like WhatsApp banking, *894# Quick Banking mobile solution, Firstmobile banking application, internet banking and ATM amongst many others. These electronic banking channels are constantly updated with new and exciting features to put the customers experience and service at an edge in the industry.
According to Taiwo Shonekan, the Bank’s Head, Customer Experience & Value Management “with our dynamic and vibrant customer services operations at FirstBank, we remain committed to rendering the gold standard of services to our customers and stakeholders alike regardless of where they may be across the globe. Efficient customer services forms part and parcel of our DNA, our responsibility at putting our customers first and indeed the centerpiece of our impact since we were founded in 1894.”
“Our robust customer service puts our stakeholders and the public alike at an advantage in meeting their personal and business needs as it underscores the magic of our services through a hundred and a quarter of a century,” she concluded.
CBN Declares No Going Back on Cashless Policy, Says only 10% of Customers to Be Affected
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Friday said it would continue to implement the cashless policy in line with its mandate to ensure an efficient payment system.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said this while briefing journalists shortly after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting.
He said that contrary to claims in some quarters that many Nigerians would suffer the negative impact of the policy, only about five to 10 per of bank customers would be affected.
The apex bank had in a circular to Deposit Money Banks stated that from Wednesday, September 18, it would impose three per cent processing fees on withdrawals and two per cent processing fees on lodgements of amounts above N500, 000 for individual accounts.
For corporate accounts, the apex bank in the circular said that DMBs would charge five per cent processing fees on withdrawals and three processing fee on lodgements of amounts above N3m.
The House of Representatives had on Thursday through a resolution directed the apex bank to suspend the policy.
But responding to the development, Emefiele said if the Nigerian economy was to compete effectively with those of developed countries, a payment system that encourages the use of non-cash channels was desirable.
He said that before the cashless policy was first inaugurated in 2012, a lot of stakeholder engagements were done to sensitise Nigerians on its benefits.
He said the policy was suspended in 2014 to allow more payment channels to be developed by Deposit Money Banks.
The governor said that since the policy was suspended, currency management cost had continued to increase year-on-year at an average annual growth rate of 33 per cent.
However, he said the bank had continued to provide alternative channels, adding that people had embraced it.
He said Point of Sale transactions had moved from N48bn in 2012 to N2.2tn while electronic transfer had moved from N3.8tn in 2012 to N80.46tn in 2018.
Emefiele said, “Since the policy was first launched, currency management costs have continued to increase year-on-year at an average annual growth rate of 33 per cent.
“Notwithstanding, electronic transactions have increased within the economy. We have provided alternative channels and people have embraced it.
“This is a strategic timing of these actions because on Monday, September 23rd, the mutual evaluation by GIABA (Inter-governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa) on the country’s anti-money laundry and CFT (Combating Financing of Terrorism) regime will begin.
“Passing the mutual evaluation positions Nigeria as a safe and credible destination for financial transactions across the world.
“GIABA will be in Nigeria to access the rate at which Nigeria has embraced anti-money laundry and CFT regime. It is important that we display and show to them that Nigeria is indeed in conformity with their practices as enshrined in their anti-money laundry and CFA laws.”
The apex bank boss said if the CBN did not implement the cashless policy, credit cards owned by Nigerians might not be used abroad.
On the Value Added Tax, he said the MPC supported the decision of the Federal Government to increase the rate from five per cent to 7.5 per cent.
He said with Nigeria having one of the lowest VAT rate in the world, and faced with fiscal challenge, the best way to shore up revenue was to increase tax.
He said, “The MPC endorsed the increase in the VAT rate from five per cent to 7.5 per cent. The government has the responsibility to fend for everybody.
“In fending for everybody means that it has to spend money to provide infrastructure – roads, airports, different things that will improve the lives of its people.
“There are two ways through which government can fund these expenditures. It’s either it raises revenue or goes for debt. You all know that the government has been criticised that the debt stock is too high.
“You all know that government debt service ratios are too high. What that means is that your revenue is small because if your revenue is large, then your debt service ratios will be lower.”
He added, “If we say government should not borrow; then, government must raise revenue. If government must raise revenue and we think this is one way government can raise revenue to meet its obligation.”
Emefiele said while the decision to increase VAT might be painful to Nigerians, the benefit of such move far outweighed the cost.
On the Monetary Policy Rate, Emefiele said this was left unchanged at 13.5 per cent.
He explained that nine out of the 11 members that attended the meeting unanimously agreed to hold the monetary policy stance.
The governor said apart from the MPR that was retained at 13.5 per cent, the committee decided to hold the Cash Reserves Ratio at 22.5 per cent.
Also retained are the Liquidity Ratio, which was left at 30 per cent; and the Asymmetric Window which was left at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.
Explaining the rationale for the decision, he said the MPC felt compelled to review the options of whether to tighten, hold or loosen.