September 28, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai
Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Limited and Subsidiaries, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, has paid a condolence visit to His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma at State House on Wednesday (27th September, 2017) in order to make cash donations on behalf of his bank to alleviate the suffering of victims of the August 14th 2017 mudslide and flooding.
The FBNBank MD/CEO also held meetings with the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Dr. Patrick Conteh and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED), Momodu Kargbo at the Bank of Sierra Leone and the Ministry of Finance Buildings respectively.
Speaking to the press at FBNBank office on Rawdon Street in Freetown, after his visitation at the above mentioned offices, Dr. Adeduntan said the primary reason for his visit was to pay condolence to the people of Sierra Leone in connection to the August 14 disaster.
He revealed that he also came to make a cash donation to President Koroma in relation to the mudslide victims, adding that prior to the donation they did yesterday, they have also supported the shipment of relief materials that came from Nigeria to the country.
Even though Dr. Adeduntan refused to tell the amount of cash donated to President Koroma yesterday at State House, he said the amount was hefty and it’s only left with government to make it public.
“We did not do it to attract the attention of the public. We did it in the true spirit of Africa because charity and philanthropism are regarded as more beneficial when it is done in private,” he said.
He said part of the commitment they also made to President Koroma is that FBNBank is one of the largest when it comes to digital banking in Africa, adding that they would bring their full capacity to Sierra Leone to support their business.
“In the coming months and years, we will bring in more investment in technology, and digital product offerings that will help the bank to pull more of the citizens to the formal banking market, thereby assisting the government to address poverty,” he said.
“The secondary reason was to meet with our customers and staff in order to assure them that First Bank Group, which is the parent bank, is seriously behind this subsidiary bank in Sierra Leone. We are willing and ready to bring in our group’s capacity to assist our subsidiary in Sierra Leone so that we can exceed customers’ expectations at all times,” he said.
Dr. Adeduntan said since he has been coming to Sierra Leone, he has seen progress and as a true African, one has to commend the government for such progress.
He revealed that his purpose of visiting the Bank Governor is because FBNBank is operating in a regulated industry and that he was there to pledge the bank’s commitment that, as far as First Bank and all its subsidiaries are concerned, they will continue to run a very professional institution by abiding by all the rules and regulations.
“But more importantly, we are in line with the vision of the new Bank Governor and we are willing and ready to support his vision so that he would achieve his strategic objectives,” he said.
He said FBNBank will be using technology as a platform to grow its business by pulling more people who are currently unbanked into the banking system and helping government to address poverty. He noted that the more people that are pulled into the formal banking market, the more they would have access to credit/loans.
Amongst the products that FBNBank offers to its numerous customers, according to him, are mobile and internet banking, debit and Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards, noting that they give loans to customers that meet the bank’s risk acceptance criteria.
He said besides Africa, FBNBank is also in the United Kingdom (UK) and China.