First Bank Nigeria said it has nurtured about 71,253 Nigerian women under its First Gem initiative to skillfully manage their finances, engage in repaying investments and access capitals to expand their businesses.
The bank’s chairman, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, revealed this at a breakout session tagged ‘Empowering Nigerian Women’ at the recent 25th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) in Abuja.
She said the initiative was aimed at solving challenges for women in business. The bank was also recognized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) during the event with the ‘Long Service Corporate Award’ for fostering nation building and its support for the summit for over 20 years.
Awosika, harped on the need for Nigeria to bring its women folk into its economic growth plan. She said this was necessary to guarantee comprehensive development.
She said, “When we are talking about women, it is business and national development issue. It is not gender issue. We will have a balanced life when women get to deliver their share of what is required to build a nation.”
For Nigeria to grow its economy, the banking entrepreneur said, it must maximise the value of all her human resources. At First Bank, she said in the last three years, it built the First Gem project to try and solve some of the critical issues like women lack of ownership of personal assets for building wealth.
“At First Bank, we launched First Gem in 2016: between October 2016 and now, we have had 71,253 women locked into the system,” she noted.
Women who never thought they had any capacity on building wealth, but simply by investing capacity on information, explaining to them how money works and how to manage resources,” she noted.
Awosika said: “If we want to achieve the 2050 goals, we need to turn every single citizen into an asset for their ability to create value for the nation and help achieve the 20150 goals.”