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FIRSTBANK LINKS GROWTH TO INNOVATIONS, SERVICE DELIVERY

By NAN (Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma)

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Nigeria’s leading financial institution, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has attributed its success story to innovations and reinvention of products and services aimed at satisfying customers’ needs and aspirations.

Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, the Bank’s Managing Director, stated this on the sidelines of the second anniversary of FirstGem, a female focused product in Lagos. “At FirstBank, our purpose is to put our customers and stakeholders at the heart of our business. For over 124 years of our existence, we have focused on providing excellent financial services to meet the needs of our esteemed customers. We continue to improve on our products and also create new ones that suit their specific financial needs. The reason why we have been successful is our ability to invent and reinvent ourselves. You can only be successful like that when you put your customer at the centre piece of all your actions. That is the secret of our success.

“In designing our FirstGem product, we are very clear on the space we want to occupy,” he said.

Adeduntan further said that FirstGem had been designed on the path of what was discovered two, three years ago to fill the gap in ensuring women achieve active participation in economic development. He noted that FirstGem is not just a product but a complete lifestyle support designed solely for women.

Also speaking, Dr. Doyin Salami, Lagos Business School, urged investors in the Nigerian stock market not to panic about the forthcoming elections, assuring them the market would rebound after the general elections.

Salami said that Nigerians should stop dwelling on uncertainties surrounding 2019 elections, noting that election would come and go.

Speaking on the topic “New frontiers for businesses in 2019”: Salami said that Nigerians should tap into sectors with huge activities instead of dwelling on 2019 elections.

“Election is coming and it comes with uncertainties, there are over a 150 million Nigerians and I’m sure that their lives will continue after the election.

“I’m optimistic of where we are, election will come and go and we hope we don’t fight aftermath of the election. Whoever wins will manage the economy,”
Salami said. He further opined that the stock market which had gone down presently by about 15 percent would rebound after the elections. Salami added that Treasury Bills would offer higher returns next year, noting that people with risk averse could invest in it. Salami said that Nigerians should look inwards and tap into opportunities provided by the fast moving sectors with huge activities. According to him, the sectors are agriculture, manufacturing, telecommunications and ICT, healthcare and oil and gas.

Salami said that experience and knowledge would help entrepreneurs to identity new frontiers for business in 2019. He noted that many businesses collapsed because of lack of understanding and wrong pricing.

Also speaking, Ms Arunma Oteh, World Bank Vice President and Treasurer, identified Nigeria’s greatest challenge as extreme poverty, inequality, climate change, anti globalisation and high population, among others.

Oteh said that Nigeria would not achieve sustainable growth without tackling these challenges with strong sense of urgency. She said that one way to tackle these problems was to broaden economic participation by closing the gender gap.

Oteh said that globally, countries were losing $160 trillion in wealth because of differences in lifetime earnings between women and men. She said that “this amounts to an average of $23,620 for each person in the 141 countries studied by the World Bank Group”. Oteh noted that women were important for economic development and were the economic power house for society today. (NAN)

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