The deputy managing director of First Bank Nigeria Limited, Mr Gbenga Shobo has said, the bank’s First Global Transfer (FGT) has contributed to increase in Intra-African trade.
Shobo said, the FGT, which was launched last year, had played a major role in easing remittance among African countries.
The FGT is a wholly owned platform of FirstBank designed to cater to its African subsidiaries, how has this product fostered intra-African transfers and trade.
According to Shobo, FGT has eased remittance amongst its customers in African countries where Firstbank has its presence as it has fostered intra-Africa transfers and trade through a very fast, reliable, and automated solution that gives immediate value to the beneficiaries.
“The customers can confidently leverage the platform to transfer funds within African corridors. Interestingly, the unveiling of the FGT coincided with the commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), which kicked off on 1 January 2021,” he stressed.
On the timing in relation to easing and promoting the implementation of ACFTA, he said: “the timing was coincidental. However, FGT will be leveraging ACFTA to boost intra-regional transfers amongst her customers’ as more traders will be empowered to do borderless transactions. Our customers have fully embraced the initiative as they receive the incentive due for each inflow.”
On what can be done to encourage diaspora remittances, he added that, more awareness should be created amongst the populace on the existing CBN intervention measures, such as CBN Naira4dollar initiative, auto-creation of USD Domiciliary accounts for customers without dollar account, among others, and that, with this, beneficiaries will continue to encourage their senders to send through official channels.
Bank part, we would continue to support all the CBN intervention policies and sensitize our customers to receive through official channels to enable them to reap the benefits therein.
“Remittance has always been a key focus of FirstBank, in fact, the first International Money Transfer Operator (IMTO) in the country came through FirstBank in 1996. Over the years, the bank has partnered with reputable IMTOs to increase remittance inflow into the country, easing the accessibility of its beneficiaries to receive money,” he stated.