First Bank Ltd yesterday flagged-off partnership on agent banking with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Jabi Motor park, Abuja.
The Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Gbenga Shobo, represented by Regional Head, Shehu Aliyu, and the President, NURTW Alhaji Najeem Yasin led the representatives of the bank and the union respectively in the FirstBank Agent Banking/NURTW partnership.
Shobo said “what we are doing today is the flagging-off of business across not only the motor park in Jabi but in six other locations in Nigeria. And we are starting with the pilot, which comprises seven motor parks, Jabi is one. And this is where we are having the launch of the partnership.
“We have other locations in Kano, Maiduguri, PortHacourt, Lagos, Abia, Kaduna. These locations will be simultaneously commencing provision of financial services to commuters and other users within the motor parks.”
He noted that with the partnership, the drivers will be able to open accounts, make deposit, which they can access from any other location.
According to him, the ceremony marked a year of discussions of the partnership with the union. He noted that the partnership was predicated on the realization that there are no financial service providers in the motor parks across the country.
He said that drivers and commuters run the risk of traveling with transport fares but the insecurity in the country has made it unreasonable for them to take such risk.
He said that “commuters move from one location, from one place to another. They sell their goods and carry this money across distances. The drivers carry money in their pockets. While they move, they expose themselves to the danger of being attacked on the way. That informed our gesture of partnership with the union to extend our services to people that work in the motor parks.”
Soyobo noted that the partnership was also to inculcate a saving culture in the drivers, stressing that “in order to to achieve this we have special savings account, that we call the drivers’ savings account.”