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FIRSTBANK HITS 27,000 BANKING AGENTS, DEEPENS FINANCIAL INCLUSION ACROSS NIGERIA

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Nigeria’s premier bank and leading financial services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced that it now has over 27,000 Agents on its Firstmonie Agent Network. This feat reinforces the Bank’s steering role at promoting financial inclusion in the country. The over 27,000 Firstmonie Agents are present in almost all Local Government Areas across the country.

In line with the Financial Inclusion objectives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to bring financial services closer to Nigerians, Firstmonie Agent Network is a unique channel designed by FirstBank to solve the challenge of access to financial services. Firstmonie Agents are empowered with secured digital channels to provide basic financial services such as account opening, Cash-In, Cash-Out, Funds Transfer, Airtime topup, and Bill payments to customers across the country.

FirstBank, through this Financial Inclusion drive, is making very impressive impact on job creation, women and youth empowerment, and entrepreneurship development – fundamental pillars of overall economic development.

Alhaji Bashir Aliyu Muhammad Rimin-Gado, a Firstmonie Agent operating from Rimin-Gado area in Kano State said, “I have been with Firstmonie since they started and I can say that it has been a life changing experience, I have been able to build trust of the communities around me as many workers in my area have forgotten the last time they visited any bank branch for basic banking services. I am a proud employer of labour and as a result my staff are well paid and comfortable.

Sharing his excitement on the impact FirstBank Agent Banking has had in his immediate community, another Firstmonie Agent in Abia State, Ephraim Osinachi of Jozzy NetComputer Services. Nig Limited, said, “FirstBank’s Firstmonie has created an enabling opportunity for dwellers of my immediate community and neighboring towns to carry out banking transactions with less time, money, resources and risks as people don’t have to waste time embarking on long journeys to the city, added to the dangers of being robbed on the highway.”

“My experience as a Firstmonie Agent has been a rewarding one, as I receive hundreds of Thank Youand God bless you from customers each day, because of the relief the Agent Banking gives to them. The people of Ukwa will always remain grateful to CBN and FirstBank for bringing banking to their door step with Agent Banking”, he concluded.

On the back of its drive to deepen inclusion through Agent Banking, FirstBank has also partnered withNational Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).The (NURTW) partnership seeks to leverage the human traffic and commercial activities at various motor parks across the country to ease access to financial services. First Bank is also in partnership with Azuri Technologies Limited, an off-grid power distribution company to make access to off-grid power easy, especially in rural communities, as well as other institutions, who are seeking to provide resources to cushion the effects of economic and social shocks on low income individuals.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan “Our Firstmonie Agent Banking network, spread across the nook and cranny of the country, is a demonstration of our resolve to promoting financial inclusion and business in the country. This indeed has been achieved with the concerted effort and commitment of our partners and registered Firstmonie Agents to taking banking to Nigerians regardless of where they are. With them, we are committed to leave no stone unturned at bolstering the economic involvement of many more Nigerians, especially through our robust electronic services like *894# USSD banking, Firstmobile, Firstonline and ChatBanking on WhatsApp”

FirstBank recently announced that over N1 trillion Naira had been processed through the Agent Banking Network. The First Bank to achieve this milestone.

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BUSINESS

FIRSTBANK PROMOTES ACTS OF KINDNESS, REVS ITS CR&S WEEK IN MORE THAN HALF A DOZEN COUNTRIES

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial institution has announced that the third edition of its Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (CR&S) week is billed for 1 – 6 July 2019 in the six geopolitical zones of the country and the Bank’s business locations in Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Senegal, Sierra Leone, DR Congo and The United Kingdom. The 2019 edition is themed Ripples of Kindness, Putting You First.

The CR&S week is driven to amplify the Bank’s culture of “Employee Giving & Volunteering Programme” with a focus on reinforcing the values of the Bank’s SPARK (Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness) initiative through a wide range of strategically designed activities. SPARK is a values-based initiative designed to raise consciousness that promote kindness to one another.

Amongst the activities to be carried out in the course of the week is the Nice Comments Day; a day set aside to foster words of encouragement, support and kindness to people around you, regardless of ones’ familiarity or close ties. The Bank recognises that kind words are largely instrumental to lighting up one’s day and also bringing out the best in one.

Other activities in the course of the FirstBank CR&S week are visits to the less privileged homes as well as the promotion of the SPARK initiative in schools. The objective of the SPARK initiative in schools is to embed the values of SPARK amongst school children at a young age so it becomes part and parcel of them, forming a habit and nature as they develop into adulthood.

Through the values of the SPARK initiative – Compassion, Civility, Charity and Connection – , the Bank believes that every act of kindness is critical to promoting a peaceful co-existence amongst everyone in the society and building a prosperous society and nation at large.

Speaking on the Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (CR&S) Week 2019, the Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications of FirstBank, Folake Ani-Mumuney, said “Our 2019 CR&S week is aimed at reinforcing FirstBank’s corporate culture of encouraging giving and volunteering among its employees and the larger society. We believe that every act of kindness goes a long way in leaving an indelible impact in the life of people which indeed underscores why it is important for everyone to Start Performing Act of Random Kindness. No matter how little, every act of kindness indeed makes the world a better place.

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FIRSTBANK: INSPIRING KINDNESS, EMPATHY WITH SPARK

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What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? Asked renowned philosopher, writer and composer, Jean-Jacques Rousseau in one of his writings while highlighting the importance of the simple yet impactful act.

According to a health fact sheet produced by the Random Acts of Kindness Organisation, being altruistic increases one’s oxytocin, also called the ‘love hormone’, makes one happy, increases lifespan and stimulates the production of serotonin, a feel-good chemical that heals one’s wounds, calms down, and makes one happy. The fact sheet further notes that being involved in acts of kindness decreases pain as it produces endorphins, the brain’s natural painkiller, reduces anxiety, stress, depression and blood pressure.

Jamil Zaki, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab, recently conducted a series of studies that observed how witnessing kindness inspires kindness, causing it to spread like a virus. He concluded that “by emphasising empathy-positive norms, we may be able to leverage the power of social influence to combat apathy and conflict in new ways.”

Another study conducted by Oxford University researchers and which found out that just seven days of small acts of kindness will make one happier, also attests to the scientific evidence that altruism is beneficial.

Nigeria’s oldest financial institution, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, which is this year celebrating its 125th anniversary, has an initiative aimed at restoring the fading age-long culture of being one’s brother’s keeper called SPARK. An acronym for Start Promoting Acts of Random Kindness, the initiative is also to reawaken the spirit of showing kindness which soci0-economic circumstances have forced many people to neglect.

The initiative, which is an integral part of its Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (CR&S) Week, saw its employees and external stakeholders supporting humanitarian causes through crowdfunding. The staff members and others were encouraged to make small contributions/donations in aid of people who were in critical needs.

With the belief that a small act of kindness goes a long way in changing the world, staffers and other well-meaning Nigerians warmly embraced the initiative promoting compassion and being charitable. Through the Bank’s CR&S week people’s lives are positively impacted. Senior management executives led their subordinates to distribute essential commodities to orphanages across the country while old people and people living with disabilities also benefitted.

Having earlier encouraged its employees who made donations to also participate in nominating those they thought were deserving of acts of random kindness nominations based on the criteria of community/individual’s emotive story and the significance of the individual/community need, 10 beneficiaries eventually emerged last year. Among these was Baby Ijeoma, who was in dire need of cardiac surgery to correct her congenital heart disease and forestall irreversible and life-threatening complication and who got over N1.5 million assistance.

Also, Mrs. Mary Pius, a widow with five children and fruits seller who was unable to send her children to school, received support while Lawal Seun, a boy and the third child of a blind woman in Ondo town whose husband abandoned with the four children some years ago, returned to secondary school courtesy the SPARK initiative.

As previously done, FirstBank is activating SPARK again this year with more activities added to bolster the impact of the CR&S week and to serve as a platform to implore Nigerians about the long-cherished value of showing empathy and compassion on the four main areas: Education and Scholarship Fund; Welfare Fund for Mothers; Welfare Fund for the Old and Disabled, and Orphanage Support Fund.

 

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Dangote Industries shows its commitment to empowering Africa in new CNN campaign

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A new branded content campaign on CNN TV, digital and social media platforms is showing global audiences some of the many ways that Dangote Industries is impacting people in African communities and industries.

The ‘Touching Lives’ campaign, which starts airing on TV this month, has been conceived and developed by CNN International Commercial’s award-winning branded content studio Create as part of the extended partnership between Dangote Industries and CNN. Announced last year, the partnership also includes sponsorship within CNN Marketplace Africa and Dangote being the first
African brand to be part of Great Big Story.

‘Touching Lives’ is focused on telling Dangote Industries’ story through the way its many investments and innovations help empower African people, businesses and everyday life. This creative approach also echoes Aliko Dangote’s vision that the company’s investments in Africa are evidence of its commitment to the continent.

The campaign includes a series of interactive content, articles and films hosted on a branded content hub produced by Create. The first execution is Farm to Table, which tells the story of the relationship between Lagos chef Michael Elégbédé and country farmer Olayemi Banjo and how they are connected
by a passion – a relationship made possible by Dangote Group’s investment in rice farming to reduce the amount of imported produce. An emotive film runs on CNN International as a television commercial and has been tailored for various CNN Digital platforms and social media environments, where it is distributed across CNN Digital and via Create’s social media presence using the latest data
intelligence and seeding tools such as CNN AIM (Audience Insight Measurement) and Launchpad to reach Dangote’s key audiences of young professionals and people aspiring to succeed in markets across Africa and beyond.

For the production of Farm to Table, a Create team filmed in Nigeria over several weeks and then undertook a dedicated post production process to develop a series of powerful and engaging materials that can connect with audiences on TV, digital and social. Next up for Touching Lives will see the
campaign focus on another area of African life that Dangote Industries influences.

“The ‘Touching Lives’ campaign is exciting and ground-breaking because it incorporates some of the most important trends that we are seeing in modern advertising and brand building,” said James Hunt, Vice President, Create, CNN International Commercial. “Those trends are: a focus on authentic storytelling around real people going about their everyday lives; distributing different variations of content across platforms so that audiences can appreciate the storytelling whether it’s on TV, a mobile phone or anywhere else; and data-driven technology to ensure the content reaches the right audience segments.

The result is an engaging and highly creative way of telling the true impact that Dangote Industries is having on the world and communities around it. We are incredibly proud of this campaign and having a partner such as Dangote Industries who is willing to push boundaries and take a new approach to telling their story.”

Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Group said: “Our investment in agriculture is anchored on two basic thrusts. The first is to key into the Nigeria’s Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA), which make food’s self-sufficiency a clear priority. The second is in our avowed mission statement which is to touch the lives of the people by providing their basic needs.
Therefore, our venturing into rice cultivation just as we did in sugar is to achieve self-sufficiency and eliminate the $2 billion spent annually on rice importation and thousands of job losses. Our social impact is further felt in the well-being of our various host communities through infrastructure development and provision of employment opportunities with our unprecedented life-changing projects.”

Source: CNN

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