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A look at the gains of ‘N5 for every dollar’ scheme ends tomorrow

Since March 8, 2021, many customers of First Bank of Nigeria Limited have been smiling home from any of the bank’s 750 branches nationwide, where they are being rewarded with N5 for every dollar they received through foreign remittances.

Sadly, most of the customers hard wished the gesture, which is in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s ‘Naira 4 Dollar scheme’ aimed at promoting Diaspora remittances into the country, would last longer.

However, ‘N5 for every dollar’ has been a two-month campaign, which started on 8 March 8, 2021 and ending tomorrow May 8, 2021.

For the period the campaign lasted, First Bank fulfilled its promise to customers who received foreign remittances with the payment N5 for every dollar with preferences to collect the USD as cash across the counter in any of the bank’s branches nationwide or as transfer into their domiciliary accounts.

Also, for the two-month period the campaign lasted, First Bank, which prides itself as Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider, aided the CBN in deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria with the N5 paid to its customers for every dollar they received.

As Adesola Adeduntan, MD/CEO, First Bank, rightly pointed out at the flag-off of the campaign, “At First Bank, we are pleased to participate in the CBN’s ‘Naira 4 Dollar scheme’ as it will contribute to deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria. Indeed, it’s an activity we are pleased to lead, whilst promoting access to funds across the nooks and crannies of the country in almost 127 years of our existence”.

The scheme, according to him, was in line with First Bank’s efforts at wealth creation and redistribution in the country.

“We are delighted to be a gateway to promoting dollar remittances into the country and we encourage our customers, their loved ones and friends to use our international money transfer services, which would enable them to enjoy the rewards of this promo, sustaining the increase in inflows of Diaspora remittances into Nigeria consequently help in poverty reduction, income redistribution and enhancement of economic growth,’’ he insisted.

Of course, the campaign also helped the bank in building patronage of its International money transfer offerings, especially wooing many customers who received foreign remittances for the first time.

Well, credit also goes to the strong international money transfer services that partnered in the campaign.

They include; Western Union, MoneyGram, WorldRemit, RIA, Transfast and AWS Malta.

Another gain from the campaign is the increased participation and new players, with over 12 new International Money Transfer Organizations (IMTOs) being on boarded as at present.

Thanks to the recent CBN initiatives in the industry.

But while the IMTOs have presence all over the world, with some of them being in over 250 countries around the world, the most foreign remittances received by First Bank customers came from the USA and the UK; the two countries where most Nigerian diasporas are.

Probably, First Bank is reaping from pioneering international money transfer service in the country. Only recently, the bank launched the First Global Transfer (FGT) product to promote international transfer of funds across its subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa. It is of note that the bank pioneered Western Union International; the first ever IMTO in the country, it also introduced the US Dollars Payout in 2002 and the outbound service in 2014.

Moreover, its total principal transaction amount carried out last year was N100 billion, with over 1 million customers served in the same period, as all its branches sell money transfer products.

Apart from the Auto Creation of USD account, the bank’s large branch network, excellent customer service, dedicated branches that work every day of the week to ensure customers are served, all combined to help it achieve the huge patronage in foreign remittances.

For promoting foreign remittances into the country, the bank has been recognized and awarded in the past years. The awards include; Fastest Growing Money Agent Award in 2010, MoneyGram’s “Highest Receiving Agent in Nigeria and the Most Compliant Agent in West Africa, and in 2016, as the “1st Agent in West Africa & 2nd largest Agent in Africa to process transactions that generated a revenue of $10m on the MoneyGram platform, among others.

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