First Bank of Nigeria Ltd. says the creation of wealth for the unbanked and improving their standards of living will continue to be its major focus aimed at driving financial inclusion.
The Managing Director, FirstBank, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, said this in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos.
Adeduntan said this during the inauguration of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) situated at Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos.
He said that the bank would leverage digital offerings to drive financial inclusion to reach out to the unbanked in society.
Adeduntan, however, expressed excitement at the birthing of the project.
He added that ICAN is widely acclaimed for supporting national capacity building and economic self-reliance by raising and training astute accounting professionals working tall within and outside the borders of this country.
Adeduntan, who was represented at the event by the bank’s Chief Financial Officer, Mr Patrick Iyamabo, said that FirstBank, being a foremost financial institution on the continent, was an ardent proponent of raising and nurturing professionals across all fields.
“For over 128 years of FirstBank’s continuous unbroken operations, many more economic cycles, industry transformations whilst reinventing itself many more times than any financial institution on the continent.
“We continue to demonstrate affinity for technological advancements, and by our suites progress movement from traditional brick and mortar banking to digital banking.
“We see our drive into digital banking as a call to mission building, as we continue to leverage our digital offerings to drive financial inclusion and create wealth for the erstwhile unbanked.
“We will not rest our oars in the pursuit for sustainable social, economic and environmental growth across all spheres of the economy. Our business footprint cris-crosses Nigeria, Francophone and anglophone Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Asia.
“Our community development initiatives are anchored on the strategic tripod of education, health, and welfare. Our engagement in sustainable practices is premised on enhancing economic development and ensuring economic stability for the present and future generations,” Adeduntan said.
The President of ICAN, Mrs Comfort Eyitayo, was quoted by the statement as commending the bank for the joint collaboration in the project.
Eyitayo said the EDC was a conscious and deliberate effort to drastically reduce the number of unemployed accountants and other participating public.
“The ICAN EDC is envisioned to provide practical and world class capacity building programmes in the areas of professional practice and fintech with a potential of expansion into production activities,” she said.
Eyitayo said the ICAN-EDC was an outcome of the passion of the Institute to be part of the solution to the deeply-ingrained and worrisome unemployment statistics in the country.
“It is our conscious and deliberate effort to drastically reduce the number of Chartered Accountants, and other participating members of the public, that may be part of the discouraging unemployment figure.
“Entrepreneurship is now a globally-acknowledged model for meeting the growing financial self-reliance and freedom needs.
“It is proven to improve the standard of living of the segment of the population who may, either by choice or due to economic downturn, not be able to secure paid employment.
“The direct and indirect consequences of unemployment or underemployment in any economy can be telling.
“Unemployment is a socio-economic challenge of great concern not just for the government of a nation, but other stakeholders in the economy,” she said.