FirstBank partners Uber on cheap loans to Nigerian drivers

In other to provide access to loans for drivers in the country, FBN Holdings is partnering a US based Uber Technologies Inc to make it easier for the drivers to afford cars.

The move is set to create significant business growth opportunities for driver-partners by allowing them to access used-car finance from First Bank of Nigeria Limited at a very competitive interest rate of just 20% per annum over a 24 month repayment period. Alternative offers for used-vehicle finance on the Uber Vehicle Solutions Programme will attract 22% per annum, with a maximum repayment term of 36 months.

“We are absolutely committed to making it as easy as possible for our driver-partners to start and maintain their own successful and profitable businesses,” Ebi Atawodi, General Manager for Uber’s Nigeria Unit, said in an interview. “And these used vehicle finance options make it possible for those with a demonstrable performance commitment to build sustainable businesses without incurring the high costs often associated with new vehicle purchases,” he added.

First Bank will extend a 2.5 million-naira loan ($7,930) to each qualified driver for the purchase of a second-hand car at an interest rate of 20 percent and repayable after two years, she said. To qualify for the loan, the driver “will need to be able to demonstrate an average driver-performance rating of higher than 4.5 and have earned more than 2.4 million naira’’ in the past six months, Atawodi said.

First Bank will use part of its 10 billion-naira auto-credit facility to fund the Uber program, Gbenga Shobo, deputy managing director for the Lagos-based lender, said in the same interview. The bank is targeting 90 drivers at the pilot stage, he said.

According to MD/CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Limited and Subsidiaries, Adesola Adeduntan, the Bank is committed to supporting entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses which are pivotal in stimulating economic development. “It remains our business to foster the growth and development of small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria as the No1 SME Bank. This is the reason why we have partnered with Uber by empowering operators to own vehicles and build profitable businesses,” he further stated.

In order to qualify for this preferential used-vehicle finance from First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Uber driver-partners will need to be able to demonstrate an average driver performance rating of higher than 4.5 and have earned more than N2, 400,000 in the preceding 6 months.