First Bank launches female-focused product

Nigerian banking giant, First bank of Nigeria, on Friday launched their female focused business product called ‘FirstGem’ aimed at empowering women through wealth creation. The event held at Harbour Point, Victoria Island, Lagos with wife of Vice-President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo as special guest of honour.

Part of the event was a high-powered discussion panel on the topic: ‘Women and Wealth’ with such discussants as Honourable Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; chairman, Board of Directors of First Bank, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika; CEO and founder, Fine and Country West Africa, Mrs. Udo Okonjo; finance expert, Mrs. Nimi Akinkugbe; beauty entrepreneur and makeup artiste, Mrs. Tara Fela-Durotoye and seasoned journalist and media entrepreneur, Mrs. Adesuwa Onyenokwe.

Speaking on the new First Bank initiative, Adeosun said that women were very critical to the country’s development hence needed to be financially independent as they represent 52 percent of the country’s population, noting that 70 percent of SMEs operators were women.

While advising women to learn to save and stick with their budget in order to prepare for tough times, the minister explained that FirstGem would help women show track record of success that would make banks to offer them funds to grow their businesses.

“Women have to open their eyes. Your children are not your pension because it doesn’t work any more,” she said.

The bank’s Chairman, Board of Directors, Mrs. Awosika, said that the product was introduced to support and make women more financially responsible to be good entrepreneurs. She stated that as the country was going through tough times, women needed to wake up in order to support their families.

She said: “We want to ensure that women stand on their own when the need arises. It is time for women to wake up and not be liabilities. We want to use the product to challenge the minds of women to save and have the capacity to stand on their own.”

Also speaking on the new product, First Bank CEO, Mr. Adesola Adeduntan, said that FirstGem was initiated in order to empower more women to contribute their quota to economic development, saying “When women thrive the whole society benefits because there will be sustainable growth.”


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