Banking for the Unbanked


THE First City Monument Bank Limited has embarked on a series of activities to make account opening simple and accessible to all customers. The bank said that the development would enhance its goal of delivering mainstream financial services to the unbanked millions of Nigerians.

Ikechukwu Kalu, FCMB’s group head, marketing and communications, said that the organisation’s drive to enlarge the market share of retail banking has since begun with creating awareness, buzz, product promotion and customer relationship management,CRM, into consumers’ lives through the smart integration of experiential marketing, digital, mobile, and social technology into their brick-and-mortar business.

“The FCMB fashions its acquisition strategy with entrepreneurs and low-income earners in mind with a high consideration of those too busy at work to make daily deposits of their earnings. It is often the case that market women, carpenters or vendors of small scale commodity cannot afford the time to take money to the bank.

“This time constraints on their part are what results to traders stuffing currency in braziers, or the odd practice of placing cash in their under wears, for fear and safety of their earnings.” According to him, with the recent hawkish stances of the Central Bank of Nigeria, especially the 50 per cent public sector Cash Reserves Ratio, CRR, banks had been under more pressure to diversify their acquisition processes.

Partnership for Cashless Nigeria


VISA, a global electronic payment company, has restated its commitment to working with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and other stakeholders to strengthen and deepen financial inclusion in the country through e-payment. Kamran Siddiqi, the newly appointed group executive for Visa’s Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, said that Visa would support financial literacy and cashless payments drive in the country.

Siddiqi said that Nigeria is a very important market for his organisation. “I am very excited to be here in order to support the progress Visa has made in driving financial inclusion and making electronic payments more accessible to everyone everywhere. Visa is dedicated to increasing financial literacy among the unbanked through strategic partnerships and educational programs. In the past decade, Visa has helped to bring financial literacy education to millions of people in more than 30 countries.  This is the motivation behind the recent highly successful financial literacy challenge with the co-creation hub which was geared at stimulating the development of innovative web and mobile applications to teach money management skills and support the advancement of financial literacy in Nigeria,” he said.

According to him, Visa is a strong supporter of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Cashless Lagos Vision 2020 project aimed at reducing the amount of physical cash circulating in the economy. He said that he believed the project would help modernise the payment system which, in turn, would drive greater economic development.

Preparing for Seasonal Floods


THE World Bank is to assist Nigeria in the management of national emergencies. This was made known by a World Bank team that visited the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to identify areas of support that can boost the agency’s efforts against disasters in the country. Raffaelle Cervigni, leader of the World Bank team, said the bank would like to contribute to NEMA’s disaster management efforts to prevent a reoccurrence of the 2012 flood, which claimed many lives and property.

In his response, Muhammad Sani-Sidi, NEMA’s director-general, also requested state governments and other stakeholders to match action with their commitment in order to help it to address the challenges of flood, now that some communities are being devastated by the rains. He said that since the release by the Nigerian Meteorlogical Agency, of the 2013 seasonal rainfall predictions which indicated the likelihood of flooding in some parts of the country, NEMA had undertaken a series of activities on awareness and also secured the commitment of the stakeholders to build community resilience against the disaster.

Said Sani-Sidi: “Some of these are early warning alerts, media campaigns, training of community-based organisations and consultative meetings with the stakeholders, mapping of the communities at risk and evacuation plan among others.” According to him, a high-powered team had also embarked on advocacy visits to state governors while official camps were already erected in safe grounds in identified flood-prone areas to accommodate individuals that might be displaced by the disaster.


Compiled by Chinwe Okafor 

— Sep. 23, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

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