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FirstBank’s Adeduntan, Global Finance Practitioners Brainstorm at Ethical Finance Conference in Edinburgh

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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.

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Business

Financial Inclusion: FirstBank Promotes Virtual Bank Account Opening

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, has announced that it has reinforced its technology infrastructure to enable anyone in the country open a FirstBank account through their mobile phones, without visiting any of its branches nationwide.

The investment in the Bank’s mobile banking infrastructure is in furtherance of the need to deepen financial inclusion in the country, enabling account opening to be carried out on its *894# USSD banking, FirstMobile (self-service telephone banking), its website – www.firstbanknigeria.com – as well as the Bank’s staff, through the Direct Sales Executive (DSE) application installed on their mobile phone, ATMs and the bank’s over 55,000 FirstMonie Agents spread across the country. Opening an account with FirstBank through any of these means is seamless, convenient, fast, and user-friendly.

The DSE App is an end to end encrypted mobile application installed on the phone(s) of FirstBank staff which enables them to open an account for to-be customers. Upon the completion of the account opening process via the DSE App, the customer is notified of his or her account number through a text message on the mobile phone used to register the account.

With FirstBank’s *894# USSD banking, various banking activities are carried out on a mobile phone – across the four major GSM network operators in the country – without the use of the internet. To open an account via this means, dial *894# then select ‘open an account’ to provide the information required or by simply dialling *894*0#. The Bank currently has over 9.5 million of its nearly 20 million customers on its USSD banking platform.

The FirstMonie Agent Banking is an agent banking initiative from the bank that is designed to take banking closer to people, thereby bridging the gap between the banked and unbanked. FirstMonie is a channel through which various banking activities like FirstBank account opening, funds transfer, bill payments, data and call credit recharge services, amongst others are carried out. The Agent Banking initiative has also contributed to reducing poverty, being responsible for the indirect employment of over 150,000 people across the country.

According to Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, “beyond opening an account in any of our over 700 branches, we are delighted with the investments at reinventing our business processes over the years, especially with the use of technology. This has been critical to staying relevant in the industry for over 126 years and being the financial partner of the first choice to all our customers and Nigerians, irrespective of where they are.”

Creating these virtual ways of opening a bank account with us – thus; the staff DSE App, ATMs, FirstMonie Agents, *894# USSD banking, FirstMobile and our website – reinforces our resolve to ensure that more Nigerians and residents have access to banking, especially through our state of the art financial services and we remain resolute to being the key to banking, enabling business and financial activities that would continue to propel the country’s economic growth and development.

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Just In: FG Reduces Petrol Pump Price to N121.50

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The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency has announced a new pump price band of N121.50 to N123.50 per litre for Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol.

The PPPRA, which is an agency of the Federal Government, disclosed this in a circular to fuel marketers dated May 31, 2020, which was obtained by our correspondent on Monday.

The sharp drop in crude oil prices on the back of the spread of coronavirus saw the landing cost of petrol hitting a record low in March, wiping off subsidy on the product.

The pump price of petrol, which is still being regulated by the Federal Government, was reduced to N125 per litre from N145 per litre on March 18, 2020, effective March 19.

The PPPRA further announced on March 31 a price band of N123.50 to N125 per litre, effective April 1.

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Buhari Writes Reps for Another $5.513bn Loan

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President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the House of Representatives to request for the approval of fresh external borrowings totaling $5.513bn.

Buhari, in the letter read by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, at the plenary on Thursday, said the funds were for 2020 budget deficit, financing of critical projects, and some states of the federation.

The President also presented a revised 2020 Appropriation Bill and 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

The National Assembly had recently approved a loan of N850bn for the Federal Government, while another of $22.79bn, which the Senate has already approved, is pending before the House.

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