THE First Bank of Nigeria Limited has reiterated its commitment to drive financial literacy among the youth and unbanked segment of the economy. Speaking at the CBN Financial Literacy Day event in Ado-Ekiti recently, Gbenga Shobo, executive director, Lagos and West for First Bank, said the bank was firmly committed to the achievement of financial inclusion in Nigeria and would continue to work towards this aspiration by extending banking services to under-banked businesses, communities and individuals across the country with our extensive network of more than 850 branches.
“Beyond this, we recognise that financial literacy is a key enabler in our quest for financial inclusion and that we must begin by ensuring that our children are properly empowered with a sound financial education. First Bank would continue to assist the Nigerian child and young adult to build a prosperous future by extending financial education and services to them early in life,” he said.
As part of the CBN’s ‘Adopt-a-School’ programme of the financial literacy day, Shobo took more than 200 students of Tinuola International School, Ado Ekiti, through the basic concepts of making money, savings and investments while letting them know that their capacity to make informed decisions will make them better adults in the future.
Also speaking at the event, Kehinde Alao, principal of Tinuola International School, Ado Ekiti, thanked First Bank for choosing the school to celebrate the financial literacy day event. He said that the school readily accepted to host the programme because of the strong belief that the financial literacy education would turn the students into good financial managers
Development Bank of Nigeria to Support MSMEs
THE federal government has inaugurated the Development Bank of Nigeria, DBN, with a capital base of $1.5 billion (about N300bn). The development bank, which was launched by President Goodluck Jonathan on March 23, will support medium to long-term lending to micro, small and medium-scale enterprises with loans that are repayable in 10 years with a moratorium period of up to 18 months.
Going by the projection of the federal government, the capital base of $1.5 billion (about N300 billion) is expected to increase to $5bn (about N1 trillion) in the medium-term and to N2trillion within the next 10 years. Within the first five years of operation of the bank, about 200,000 new loans are expected to be disbursed to MSMEs. With each MSME creating an average of five new jobs, the government is projecting that the bank will assist in creating one million direct jobs.
The bank is being supported by development partners such as the African Development Bank, World Bank, Agence Francaise de Development, and KFW Entwicklungsbank of Germany. The DBN, in collaboration with the development partners, is also expected to provide business training for more than one million MSME operators to make their businesses more attractive for commercial bank lending.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister of finance, explained that the establishment of the bank would guarantee a robust financing for MSMEs. She said that about 20,000 beneficiaries would be offered loans in the first one year of the bank’s operation. “I share in the President’s belief that the most valuable change we can make as a government is ensuring that we break this jinx so that small businesses can actually have a full-fledged institution that will provide this access. Not just access, but access in a manner that does not stifle them, but instead grows them; access that gives them space to afford a decent life, while nursing their businesses; access in a manner that will not take substantial portions of their profits away from them; access to the sort of finance that empowers them and their communities.
“Simply put, access to credit means financial inclusion financial inclusion helps convert people’s dreams to reality. This is the reason why we are here today; this is the reason why the President is also here to launch the flagship bank that gives all Nigerians a chance not only to dream, but to also see that the dream becomes a reality.”
— Apr. 6, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT