First Bank gives female entrepreneurs N58bn loan in 1yr | Dailytrust

First Bank gives female entrepreneurs N58bn loan in 1yr

First Bank of Nigeria
First Bank of Nigeria

The Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank of Nigeria Limited and Subsidiaries, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, has said the bank gave N58 billion loans to 81,000 female entrepreneurs and professionals in one year towards supporting women in business.

Adeduntan who disclosed this recently at the First Gem Annual Conference 4.0 which held virtually, said First Bank has also empowered women across its agent banking network.

“We have about 24,500 female agents representing 28 per cent of the agents in our network. It gives us much joy to see that more women are embracing this proposition and getting empowered.

“A review of the performance of the FirstGem initiative shows the effectiveness of our efforts to elevate and empower the Nigerian woman. In 2020, we gave out loans of N58bn to over 81,000 female entrepreneurs and professionals,” he noted.

In a lecture, Chairman of First Bank Nigeria, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, who spoke on the theme, ‘Art of Negotiation’, said although women are equally smart, they are still disadvantaged.

“Even if you do not like technology, it is going to affect your life. So, it is your reality and you must rise up and take up the challenge on how you will engage technology,” she said.

Awosika also said the female business owners will also need to understand government policies to succeed.

FirstBank Deputy Managing Director, Francis Shobo, said the conference was held as part of the bank’s way of celebrating women to mark International Women Day.

Head, Consulting at Agusto Consulting, Prof. Jimi Ogbobine, said women should also consider investing in the bond market and other financial instruments while complementing their businesses with e-transaction platforms to boost patronage.

“So as a business, if you do not have an e-payment system, you are missing out in a major growth area in the country and by 2022 to 2023.”

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