FirstBank Partners Azuri to Provide Nigerians Power, Deepen Financial Inclusion

L-R: Ini Ebong, Group Executive, Treasury and Financial Institutions, First Bank of Nigeria Limited; Simon Bransfield-Garth, Founder & CEO Azuri Technologies Ltd; Tunde Owolabi, Group Executive, Retail Banking Group (Lagos & West) First Bank of Nigeria Limited and Vera Nwanze, General Manager, West Africa, Azuri Technologies Ltd at the partnership agreement signing between FirstBank and Azuri Technologies Ltd held at Lagos InterContinental Hotel in Lagos.

February 7, 2019

By Paschal IJEH InvestAdvocate

Lagos (INVESTADVOCATE)-Nigeria’s top tier lender, First Bank of Nigeria Limited and leader in pay-as-you-go solar technology, Azuri Technologies on Thursday launched its partnership to help provide affordable, reliable and clean power to millions of Nigerians; at the same time deepening financial inclusion.

“This partnership is aimed at proffering solutions to one of the major challenges in the country today, which is delivering power to millions of Nigerians; while at the same time enabling access to financial services in rural, low-income areas,” Gbenga Shobo, deputy managing director (DMD), First Bank said in his remark on the launch.

According to the FirstBank’s DMD, financial inclusion is a priority to top tier Bank and leading banking services provider, “this is why we are excited about this partnership; because our customers will be able to access a wide range of services that addresses real problems such as access to power,” he added.

Shobo affirmed that the partnership with Azuri Technologies is one out of several of FirstBank’s partnerships. “We have a track record of partnering with individuals and institutions to help meet the needs of our customers (children, women, youth, SMEs) and promote sustainable development in our host communities. Our partnerships cut across the Arts, Sports, Education, Health, etc,” he said.

“This partnership combines the reach of FirstBank with Azuri’s technology and pay-as-you-go solar expertise to bring next generation power to off-grid consumers in Nigeria” Simon Bransfield-Garth, Azuri CEO said.

“Azuri and FirstBank share the vision of a level playing field where all consumers have the ability to benefit from modern financial and digital services, regardless of where they live and this agreement is another step in making that vision a reality,” Bransfield-Garth added.

As earlier reported, under the partnership, Azuri’s solar home TV product will be co-branded and co-marketed by FirstBank and Azuri. Pay-as-you-go customers will be able to pay for their solar via FirstBank’s Firstmonie agent network and mobile payment solution. Firstmonie agents are positioned within rural and semi-urban locations across the country and provide basic financial services such as account opening, cash deposit, cash withdrawals and bill payments.  

According to World Bank reports in 2018, more than 60 million of Nigeria’s roughly 200 million population do not have bank accounts and as little as six percent (6%) of people have a mobile money account.

FirstBank has been at the forefront in ensuring ease of banking and convenience for its customers.

The lender’s Agent Banking network (Firstmonie Agent) and digital banking offerings like Chat Banking on Whatsapp, FirstMobile app, Firstonline, and USSD banking are some of the channels put in place to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria.

For the past 125 years FirstBank have continuously put its customers first by offering excellent financial services and have kept on devising new ways of effectively and efficiently meeting their financial and social needs.

The FirstBank – Azuri partnership is aimed at bringing positive boost to the nation’s economy through inclusive services.

Shobo, was represented represented by Tunde Owolabi, group executive, Retail Banking Group (Lagos & West) First Bank of Nigeria Limited, also Ini Ebong, group executive, Treasury and Financial Institutions was at the event.

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