In this COVID-19 era where movement is restricted in some major parts of the world – including Nigeria – with many Banks and business reengineering efforts to improve the adaptability of their customers to electronic ways of carrying out business, Firstmonie Agents, an agent banking initiative from First Bank of Nigeria Limited is bridging the gaps and helping people to meet their needs of accessing the funds to buy food items and groceries as well as to send money to their loved ones.
This is one of the many measures by the premier financial institution in Nigeria to support the need to promote social distancing and the reduction of physical interactions of people in large numbers, thereby guarding against the spread of the coronavirus.
FirstBank introduced this innovative channel three years ago, with the aim of bringing banking to close those who live in rural areas and to every Nigerian -regardless of where they are in the country.
Firstmonie Agents also ensure individuals in the suburbs do not have to travel for long hours to the city for their banking activities. The gap between the tech-savvy and the low literacy clients has been bridged as the Firstmonie Agent network represents a convenient and comfortable alternative for customers that are unacquainted with the sophisticated digital channels.
With over 53,000 Firstmonie Agents spread across 99% Local Government Areas in the country, the laudable initiative by FirstBank is another way to bank – without visiting a Bank – which allows you to make cash deposit, transfer money to any bank and enjoy other banking services like bills payment and purchase of recharge card amongst others.
Recently, Halima, a FirstBank customer who is a housewife and petty trader, residing in a remote area in Abuja expressed her delight on the Firstmonie Agent initiative as she was able to easily get cash from an agent nearby to procure groceries for herself and her three children. Her bank being far away in Garki was too far to visit to get money. Thanks to Firstmonie which she discovered through her co-tenant, her joy knew no bounds as Halima was able to access her money at the Firstmonie Agent outlet close to her, as well as send money to her mother in far away, Maiduguri in Borno State.
Another customer in Lagos, Adeoye, a civil servant also lauded this brilliant initiative from FirstBank and narrated his experience when he visited the stand of Firstmonie in Ojota area of Ogudu, Lagos. He explained that he was able to do his transaction with ease.
According to Mrs. Sadia Folorunsho, she said ‘I did not know FirstBank has this wonderful service within my area as it actually saved my family from hunger as I was able to perform banking activities without being in the bank,’ she stated.
These are what the management of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, led by its CEO, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan has been able to make available well ahead of time, since no one knew there might be a pandemic that will warrant a lockdown.
Its Firstmonie Agents at every nook and cranny in Nigeria has been able to remove the burden from the shoulders of Nigerians and allow many to carry out several transactions at Firstmonie Agent locations, within close proximity of their home.
Firstmonie Agent banking is a channel specifically designed by FirstBank to bring financial services closer to the unbanked and underbanked segment of the society whilst promoting existing businesses within the communities to deliver their services and contribute to the growth and development of the economy.
With the spread of its Agent Banking network, FirstBank has been able to indirectly create over 150,000 jobs as the Firstmonie Agents have had to employ the services of other individuals to build their businesses and meet the financial needs of individuals in its community.
So far, the Bank has deepened financial inclusion through Firstmonie Agents with 237.3 million transactions processed through the network at a monetary value of over 4.08 Trillion Naira.
COVID-19: Ogun orders full reopening of churches, mosques, hotels
Religious centres and other public places have been reopened following the success recorded in flattening the curve of COVID-19.
The Ogun State Government has ordered the full reopening of churches, mosques, businesses, hotels, and entertainment centres across the state.
This was disclosed by the State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, via the state’s Twitter handle on Wednesday.
Abiodun stated that the religious centres and other public places had been reopened, following the success recorded in flattening the curve of COVID-19.
According to him, the government is aware that many people are just recovering from the economic hardship imposed by COVID-19, as their activities had been affected by the lockdown, while necessary measures had been put in place to combat the pandemic.
He stated, “In the process of rebuilding the economy, the State Government was irrevocably committed to the successful implementation of the “Building our Future Together” agenda, and would ensure everything possible for people to have increased prosperity that would place the State on a sound footing towards continued development.
“Government would improve on testing, just as it continues to monitor the development and not hesitate to do selective lockdown should there be any flagrant disobedience to the set COVID-19 protocols.”
COVID-19: Ogun orders full reopening of churches, mosque, hotels
Pleased with the drop of COVID-19 infections in Ogun State, @dabiodunMFR, has announced that all hotels, viewing centres, marquees, event centres, suites, guest houses, motels, and establishments providing…. pic.twitter.com/sMiUe3DUt5
— Ogun State Government – OGSG (@OGSG_Official) October 28, 2020
What you should know
Governor Abiodun had closed religious centres, businesses and schools in March, as part of moves to flatten the curve of the coronavirus.
He later announced the reopening of only worship centres and schools in August.
Abiodun pegged the number of worshippers for each service at 200, and insisted that services must not exceed one and a half hours.
CBN reveals framework for the N75 billion Youth Investment Fund
The Nigerian Youth Investment Fund will be funded through the NIRSAL MFB window of the CBN.
Improve access to finance for youths and youth-owned enterprises for national development.
Generate much-needed employment opportunities to curb youth restiveness.
Boost the managerial capacity of the youths, and develop their potentials to become the future large corporate organizations.
The fund targets young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years.
Beneficiaries of NMFB, TCF and AgSMEIS loans, and other government loan schemes that remain unpaid are also not eligible to participate.
Individuals (unregistered businesses) shall be determined based on activity/nature of projects subject to the maximum of N250,000.
Registered businesses (Business name, Limited Liability, Cooperative, Commodity Association) shall be determined by activity/nature of projects subject to the maximum of N3.0 million (including working capital).
The tenor of the intervention is for a Maximum of 5 years, depending on the nature of the business and the assets acquired, of which interest rate of not more than 5% under the intervention shall be charged annually.
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD) will collaborate with relevant stakeholders to identify potential training for training/mentoring.
The youths that are duly screened (and undergo the mandatory training where applicable) shall be advised to login to the portal provided by the NMFB to apply for the facility.
NFF receives $1 million from FIFA as COVID-19 palliative
Nigerian Football Federation received the sum of $1 million from FIFA as COVID-19 palliative.
The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) has received the sum of $1 million from FIFA as COVID-19 palliative to support male and female footballers in the country.
This was disclosed by Amaju Pinnick in a statement confirming the receipt of the grant from the world football governing federation FIFA, which was seen by Nairametrics on his official Twitter handle.
He tweeted, “Huge appreciation to football’s world governing body, FIFA for the $1 million (one million dollars) the Federation has received in the frame of COVID-19 palliatives. The money was received by the Nigeria Football Federation and we re-confirmed the purpose from FIFA two days ago.
“It is imperative to note that, FIFA also sent $600,000 to the Federation for the FIFA Forward 2.0 projects in Binin-Kebbi and Ugborodo, which costs $300,000 each.
“This fund is a big boost for the mini-stadia projects in both centres, as it will fast track the completion of the projects slated for the end of March 2021.”
Huge appreciation to football's world governing body, @FIFAcom, for the $1 million (one million dollars) the Federation has received in the frame of COVID-19 palliatives. The money was received by the @thenff and we re-confirmed the purpose from FIFA two days ago.
— Amaju Melvin Pinnick (@PinnickAmaju) October 28, 2020
Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website
What they are saying
Speaking on the receipt of the grant, NFF President said:
“The $1 million for palliatives is composed of $500,000 for men’s football and $500,000 for the women’s game. FIFA has also promised to send the Federation an additional $500,000 sometime in January 2021, also as part of COVID-19 palliative efforts.”
Speaking of other grants, he added:
“On the continent, we have received confirmation from Confederation of African Football (CAF) that the Federation will receive the expected $300,000 from the Confederation on or before Sunday, the 1st of November.”
With the $200,000, he added that the NFF has already ring-fenced from its sponsors’ funds for the purpose, “the coast will then be clear for us to start the disbursement of funds to the beneficiaries, as captured in our approved template, from next week.”
“Even though we are bolstered by the guidelines from FIFA strictly outlying the purposes of these funds as well as the approval of the NFF Executive Board, we will also interface with our auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, on each and every line item, to ensure the disbursements conform to global best practices.”
The beneficiaries of the fund are expected to ensure 100% compliance to the guidelines, by ensuring that all funds are paid into designated accounts.