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In the fast-evolving world of digital banking, Nigeria stands on the brink of a financial revolution. As the global pandemic has accelerated digitalization, the need for accessible, efficient, and reliable financial services has never been more crucial. FirstCredit by FirstBank emerges as a groundbreaking digital lending solution designed to meet the demands of Nigerians where the need for quick cash is ticking ever northward.

The shift towards digital banking in Nigeria has been both rapid and transformative. With the increasing penetration of mobile phones and internet access, more Nigerians are embracing digital solutions for their financial needs. This trend has been further amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, which necessitated minimal physical contact and prompted a surge in digital transactions.

Digital banking offers numerous advantages, including convenience, speed, and accessibility. For many Nigerians, especially those in remote areas, digital banking services have provided unprecedented access to financial tools and resources. However, despite these advancements, a significant gap remains in the availability of quick and hassle-free credit facilities. This is where FirstCredit steps in.

In a country where traditional lending processes are often bogged down by paperwork, collateral requirements, and lengthy approval times, FirstCredit emerges as a beacon of innovation. It addresses several critical needs, including:

Accessibility: Many Nigerians still lack access to traditional banking services. FirstCredit bridges this gap by offering loans that can be accessed from anywhere, anytime, using a mobile phone or tablet. There is no need to visit a bank, making it an ideal solution for those in remote or underserved areas. You do not need a smartphone to access FirstBank’s FirstCredit.

Speed: In a fast-paced economy, waiting weeks for loan approval is not feasible for many individuals and businesses. FirstCredit ensures that loan applications are processed swiftly, with funds disbursed immediately upon approval. This quick turnaround is crucial for addressing urgent financial needs.

Simplicity: Traditional loans often require extensive documentation and collateral, which can be a barrier for many. FirstCredit simplifies the process by eliminating these requirements. All that is needed is an active mobile number registered for USSD banking and a history of regular account transactions with FirstBank.

Flexibility: With a maximum loan amount of N300,000 and a flexible repayment tenor of up to 30 days, FirstCredit offers terms that are adaptable to the borrower’s needs. The flat interest rate of 8% and a 5% insurance fee per transaction are straightforward and transparent, ensuring borrowers are fully aware of the costs involved.

Features of FirstCredit

First Credit is designed with user convenience and financial inclusivity at its core. Here are some of its standout features:

Easy Access via USSD: Customers can apply for loans by simply dialing *894# and following a few straightforward steps. This USSD code is accessible on any mobile device, ensuring that even those without smartphones can benefit from the service.

No Documentation or Collateral: The absence of cumbersome paperwork and collateral requirements makes the application process smooth and accessible.

Immediate Disbursement: Once approved, the loan amount is credited to the borrower’s account immediately, providing instant financial relief.

Flexible Repayment: Borrowers have the option to repay the loan before the 30-day tenor, allowing for flexibility based on their financial situation.

Eligibility Criteria: To qualify, customers must have been in a relationship with FirstBank for at least six months, have a valid BVN, a good credit history, and use the mobile number registered for USSD banking. Regular account transactions further enhance eligibility.

The introduction of FirstCredit marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s digital banking journey. As digital lending becomes more embedded in the financial ecosystem, it promises to unlock new opportunities for individuals and businesses alike.

For FirstBank, the move towards digital lending is not just a strategy for retaining market share but also a means to drive business growth and profitability. By leveraging technology, banks can offer personalized, efficient, and scalable financial services that meet the evolving needs of their customers, which FirstBank has leveraged on.

Moreover, the broader adoption of digital lending solutions like FirstCredit can have a transformative impact on Nigeria’s economy. It can empower small businesses with the capital they need to grow, support individuals in financial need, and foster a more inclusive economic environment.

FirstCredit is more than just a lending product; it is a visionary step towards a future where financial services are democratized and accessible to all Nigerians. As digital banking continues to evolve, solutions like FirstCredit will play a pivotal role in shaping Nigeria’s more inclusive and dynamic financial landscape.

Qualitative indicators suggest that FirstCredit has successfully addressed key financial needs in Nigeria. It’s design, focusing on accessibility, speed, and simplicity, aligns well with the demands of the Nigerian market. Continued success can be inferred from its widespread adoption and the broader positive trends in digital lending within the country. And Nigerians can trust that with FirstCredit, there is no ‘wayo’ because it is powered by West Africa premier financial institution and financial inclusion services provider, FirstBank.

Culled from NairaMetrics









Zenith Bank Plc has emerged as the Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria in the World Finance Banking Awards 2024, retaining the award for a fourth consecutive year. The bank was also named as Best Corporate Governance, Nigeria for the third year running in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2024. The awards, which were published in the Summer 2024 Issue of the World Finance Magazine, are in recognition of the bank’s robust financial performance, superior customer service, sustainability initiatives and corporate governance practices.



Commenting on the dual honours, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank Plc, Dame (Dr.) Adaora Umeoji, OON, remarked: “These awards highlight our steadfast dedication to excellence, adherence to global best practices, and our persistent effort to deliver superior value to all stakeholders through innovative products and services. Receiving these awards consecutively for multiple years signifies the commitment of our staff, the loyalty of our customers, and the support of our shareholders. We remain devoted to setting industry benchmarks and driving excellence across all aspects of our operations.”




Dr. Umeoji expressed her delight at the recognition and dedicated the awards to the Founder and Chairman, Dr. Jim Ovia, CFR, for his impactful leadership in establishing a robust and flourishing institution. She also expressed gratitude to the board for their vision and insight, the staff for their unwavering dedication, and the bank’s customers for choosing Zenith as their preferred bank.

World Finance is a leading international magazine providing comprehensive coverage and analysis of the financial industry, international business and the global economy. The editorial combines award-winning reportage, covering a broad range of topics from banking and insurance to wealth management and infrastructure investment, with contributions from some of the world’s most well-respected economists and theorists as well as consultants in government think tanks and the World Economic Forum.

Zenith Bank’s track record of excellent performance has continued to earn the brand numerous awards, with these latest accolades coming on the heels of several recognitions including being recognised as the Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital for the 14th consecutive year in the 2023 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking, published by The Banker Magazine. We were also awarded the Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards for 2020 and 2022; and Most Sustainable Bank, Nigeria in the International Banker 2024 Banking Awards

Further recognitions include Best Bank in Nigeria for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022 in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards and Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria for three consecutive years from 2021 to 2023 in the World Finance Banking Awards. Additionally, Zenith Bank has been acknowledged as the Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria, in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards for 2022 and 2023, and ‘Best in Corporate Governance’ Financial Services’ Africa for four consecutive years from 2020 to 2023 by the Ethical Boardroom.

The bank’s commitment to excellence saw it being named the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands for 2020 and 2021 and Retail Bank of the Year for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022 at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards. The bank also received the accolade of Most Sustainable Bank, Nigeria, in the International Banker 2023 Banking Awards and Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation in Retail Banking, Nigeria, in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards. Zenith Bank was named Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Bank of the Year 2021 by Champion Newspaper, Bank of the Year 2022 by New Telegraph Newspaper, and Most Responsible Organisation in Africa 2021 by SERAS Awards


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Polaris Bank Partners NCF on Land Restoration, Tree Planting




Polaris Bank Partners NCF on Land Restoration, Tree Planting



In pursuit of its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR), Polaris Bank Limited, is partnering the Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), on land restoration through tree planting initiative.

The bank’s initiative, kicked off on Monday with a tree planting project at the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.

At the event held in front of the university’s council chamber, the institution’s Vice Chancellors, Prof. Olumide Banjo, represented by his deputy, Prof. Adekunle Adeogun, was full of praises for the bank’s support for the school.

Speaking at the event, the Polaris Bank Executive Director, Chris Ofikulu, said the tree planting initiative, was borne out of the institution’s commemoration of the World Environment Day in June 2024.

According to Ofikulu, the 2024 theme focuses on “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience,” which aligns with the United Nations Decade of Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030).

He said: “In support of this, Polaris Bank has committed to sustainable practices and land restoration by planting trees nationwide in regions affected by erosion, such as Ogun State.

“It is noteworthy to mention that we are commencing this initiative with Ogun State.

“At Polaris Bank, sustainability is not just a catchphrase. It is our ethos. It is a journey in which we are committed to walk in with conviction.

“Our sustainability practices involve promoting responsible banking, empowering people and society, addressing environmental issues, and sustainable economic growth.

“We aim to ensure that every decision we make, from investments to operations, is guided by the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles.

“Our choice of TASUED as the starting port for the bank’s tree planting project is borne out of our long-standing relationship with the University, which commenced with the erstwhile SKYE BANK in 2007.

“The relationship has today remained very cordial and mutually beneficial to both organizations.

“Today’s tree planting exercise at Tai Solarin University of Education in collaboration with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) is a testament to our commitment to these sustainability principles.”

Ofikulu said the bank shares its dedication to encouraging sustainable economic growth and appreciating the importance of environmental preservation.

His words: “This project aligns perfectly with the World Environment Day, in addition to reducing carbon footprints and enhancing our natural ecosystem. It also aims to promote public awareness regarding the importance of environmental preservation.

“The benefits of our tree-planting initiative cannot be overemphasized.

It will contribute significantly to the restoration of degraded areas, the prevention of soil erosion, and the enhancement of overall environmental health.

“This tree-planting project signposts Polaris Bank’s way of giving back to the society through dedication to environmental stewardship and community well-being, promoting a greener future through Corporate Responsibility.”

While stating that the initiative would involve planting of 500 trees, Ofikulu, said 250 seedlings would be planted in the university while the remaining 250 would be planted in another part of the state that would be determined later.

Speaking at the event, the TASUED Vice Chancellor, Prof Oluwole Banjo, said Polaris Bank had contributed immensely to the development of the university.

The vice chancellor represented by his deputy, Prof Adekunle Adeogun, appealed to Polaris Bank to give more support for TASUED promising that the relationship shall be for mutual benefits.

In his address at the occasion, Ayodele Alamu, Senior Manager, Partnerships, NCF, said the whole essence of the initiative is to achieve afforestation and restore the forest cover in Nigeria.

Alamu said the vision of the NCF is to achieve at least 25% of forest cover in the country.

He said: “Today, deforestation is a big challenge such that our forest cover which used to be 30% years back is now in between 6 to 8% and the consequences of this is land degradation, erosion, among others

“However, efforts such as this tree-planting project being done in partnership with Polaris Bank and TASUED will really help to arrest this challenge and enhance sustainability of our environment.

“It is what everyone of us must get involved in to fight the climate change and the attendant negative consequences”.

Other dignitaries at the event were Mrs. Bukola Oluyadi, Group Head Customers Experience and Value Management, Rasheed Yusuf, Group Head, Ondo/Ekiti, Abiodun Daramola, Group Head Ogun/Oyo and Yemi Akinrelere, Head, Sustainability and Consumer Protection among others.

Polaris Bank Partners NCF on Land Restoration, Tree Planting

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Wema Bank Donates Brand-New Car to Winner of Outstanding MSME Clinic of the Year at National MSME Awards 202



Wema Bank Donates Brand-New Car to Winner of Outstanding MSME Clinic of the Year at National MSME Awards 202


Wema Bank, Nigeria’s foremost innovative bank and pioneer of Africa’s first fully digital bank, ALAT, donated a brand-new car to Desoor Bags, the winner of the Outstanding MSME Clinic award—female category, at the National MSME Awards Night 2024. This Award Ceremony was held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday 27th June 2024, to commemorate World MSME Day.



The International MSMEs Day and MSME Awards Night 2024 is a twofold event organised by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Office of the Vice President, to celebrate the successes in the Nigerian MSME Sector and develop sustainable solutions for the continuous growth and development of the sector, to ultimately boost the Nigerian economy. The first part of the event convened top reputable institutions and entities including Wema Bank, to brainstorm and proffer sustainable financial solutions to not only provide affordable loans and funding for MSMEs, but to also ensure that these financial solutions are easily accessible and available to MSMEs. The concluding part of the Event was the National MSME Awards 2024; the sixth edition of the annual celebration.
The Award Ceremony celebrated top performing MSMEs across various categories from different parts of the country, awarding them with gifts and cash prizes in show of support and in advancement of their businesses. Wema Bank, reputed for its positive impact across various areas including MSMEs and Women, not only contributed immensely to the solutions garnered in the daytime event but also sealed its commemoration of World MSME Day 2024 at the National MSME Awards 2024 by gifting a car to Desoor Bags, the winner of the Outstanding MSME Clinic award (female category). This remarkable gesture simultaneously reinforced the Bank’s role as an enabler for MSMEs and its reputation for championing women empowerment and promoting gender inclusion in Nigeria.
Presenting the award and car gift in representation of Moruf Oseni, the MD/CEO of Wema Bank, Tunde Mabawonku, the Bank’s Executive Director of Retail and Digital Business, highlighted the impact of the World MSME Day 2024 events, emphasising the need to provide tailored support for MSMEs and advocating for a seamless synergy of capacity development, financial and material empowerment, collaboration, as well as leveraging technology and digital, to build a supportive ecosystem for MSMEs to thrive. “First, I would like to congratulate Adesola, the Outstanding MSME Clinic Award winner in the female category of the 6th National MSME Awards. It should come as no surprise that we choose to reward a woman today, as Wema Bank has always demonstrated a strong commitment to empowering women and provided tailored solutions for them to thrive in their personal and professional endeavours. We continue to do it through our women-focused proposition, SARA, and today, we have chosen to support this outstanding woman-owned business with a car to reduce stress and increase efficiency for her as she continues to grow her business”.




“As we commemorate World MSME Day today, it is important that we set our sights forward on the future of MSMEs in Nigeria. This is why the conversations we’ve had today are very important and Wema Bank is more than glad to be part of it. As the Bank that is committed to empowering lives through innovation, we are dedicated to not only providing innovative solutions and resources for customers to thrive but also empowering them to make the most of these solutions we provide. Technology and digital are the future, and intelligence is here to stay so beyond providing financial resources for MSMEs, we are also focusing on empowering them with digital skills to ensure they are not left behind in this digital evolution. The goal is digital empowerment for scale. To maximise our impact, we will continue to innovate and collaborate to drive capacity development, financial and material empowerment, as well as technology and digital empowerment for MSMEs, to build an enabling environment for these MSMEs to thrive”.




Expressing irrepressible gratitude to Wema Bank for the remarkable show of support, Adesola Adedoyin, CEO Desoor Bags and Winner of Outstanding MSME Clinic Award (Female category) at the National MSME Awards 2024, added, “I cannot find the words to express how I feel right now. My business has been recognised on such a huge platform and on top of that, I am going home with N2,000,000 and a brand-new car, it feels so unreal. Thank you, Wema Bank, for supporting me and my business with this car. I can now transport myself and the resources Desoor Bags needs without struggling to ‘jump bus’ multiple times when I can fit it all in the car at once. I am beyond grateful. Thank you to the Federal Government for the opportunity and thank you, Wema Bank for all you do”.




In its authority as Nigeria’s most innovative bank, Wema Bank continues to prove its mettle not just as an enabler for MSMEs but also as the partner of choice for all. With the Bank’s diverse range of tailored solutions and its success in already providing single-digit loans for female MSMEs, among others, Wema Bank continues to push boundaries for the best and redefine standards in the banking and financial services industry.

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