By Chioma Obinagwam
First Bank has said it has extended FirstGem, the bank’s lifestyle offering for women aimed at providing enabling opportunities for them to achieve their financial goals and aspirations, to Akwa-Ibom and Benue States.
In a statement issued by the bank recently, it stated: “With FirstGem, female customers can access support funds for their total financial empowerment, free business advisory, specialized trainings on business development initiatives, regular information and insight on business opportunities in various sectors and industries as well as tremendous discounts at merchant outlets that offer lifestyle products and services amongst other benefits.”
In order to make the service available to women across the country, the bank is committed to driving the train across all the geo-political regions of Nigeria, sensitizing women to leverage the FirstGem offering to achieve sustainable economic growth and contribute to national development.
It further disclosed that the Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria and author of the Book, The Girl-Entrepreneur, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika was at Uyo Akwa-Ibom State on November 24, 2016, where she participated at a book club event to deliberate on the values of entrepreneurship whilst sensitizing the attending entrepreneurs on the FirstGem offering.
The FirstBank team, the statement indicated, was also at Makurdi, Benue State on November 29, 2016 to support the First Lady of Benue State, Dr. Eunice Ortom in her pet project tagged ‘Eunice Spring of Life (ESLF) Social Support Programme for Benue Women’ to promote economic activities for women.
“Driving home the FirstGem Offering, the Bank provided an exposition on the funding windows for women in the agricultural value chain. This includes the special intervention fund of N220bn created by the CBN to provide low cost, long tenored funds to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) to enhance their capacity for employment generation, economic development and inclusive growth. The scheme commenced in 2014 and advocated that 60 per cent of the fund should go for women entrepreneurs,”the bank explained.
The FirstGem offering would empower more women to drive economic activities, transformation and development in the social environment while it provides the requisite support system to enable women to be all that they can be.