First Bank Pledges Increased Investment in Technology

Gbenga Shobo

Ugo Aliogo

The Deputy Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Gbenga Shobo, has said the bank remains committed to investing in technology as a key growth enabler for their businesses.

He also reiterated the bank’s support for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) which he described as the biggest part of their customer base.

Shobo, disclosed this in Lagos at the launch of the FirstBank-Microsoft Partnership with the theme: ‘The Accelerating Impact of Digital Transformation on Business Growth in Nigeria.’

“We are paying attention to the technology and the SME segment. The SME segment is a very crucial one for us. It is a bigger part of our customer base. We want to start creating more value for them,” he added.

He also stated that the bank was making efforts to connect large customers such as multinationals and large enterprises to the products in which they sell and work with them to be able to work the SMEs customers and give them some added advantages.

Shobo, further noted that with the partnership, customers especially SMEs can buy the Microsoft applications at discounted rates; adding that they can pay in naira instead of dollars which sometimes is a challenge for them.
The FirstBank DMD added that the bank has a portal where they can ask for advice on the products, noting that there is also extra sales support which the bank can also get Microsoft to give them, “they might be able to get that on their own.”

According to him, “There is a portal where they can ask for advice on the products, there is also extra sales support we can also get Microsoft to give them. They might be able to get that on their own.

“But because Microsoft is my customer and the SME is also our customers, we manage to also put them together. Microsoft will also be happy to sell some of their products, so it is a win-win.

“For me, it is the SME; we are trying to push here. We will continue to do that. This is just the first one. We are going to get more events we partnering our large customers.
“What informed our decision to go this through this route is because of our major focus on SMEs. We feel that the SMEs are the major drivers of the economy.

“The SME segment is so important to the livelihood of many Nigerians. We have also seen that despite the fact that they bank with us, they can grow bigger, so the bigger the SMEs, the more business that go through the bank as well.”