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Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja

First Bank of Nigeria has granted scholarships worth N2.7 million to 18 students, who emerged winners in its XploreFirst promo, an initiative designed to boost savings culture and promote financial inclusion among students.

The winners, who were drawn from the six geopolitical zones, received a sum of N150,000 each.

They emerged through an electronic draw conducted by Tequila on behalf of the bank and supervised by KPMG Nigeria, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lagos State Lottery Board and Consumer Protection Commission (CPC).

Speaking at the event, the bank’s Group Executive Director, e-Business and Retail Products, Mr. Chuma Ezirim, said the initiative “is a FirstBank savings account variant designed specifically for students between the age range of 18 to 29 years.”

The executive director said a minimum amount of N1, 000 is required to open the account and account holders are to maintain a minimum balance of N200 to run the account.

He said the initiative was one of the special benefits of the account, saying the 18 winners that emerged at the final draw would be offered yearly scholarships of N150, 000 each.

Ezirim said that the initiative was targeted at youths, especially those in tertiary institutions and informal sector to enhance savings culture and drive financial inclusion across the country.

“Customers are offered yearly scholarships of N150, 000 as incentives to maintain a certain amount of deposit, in this case, N10, 000 in their account over a 30-day period to qualify for the monthly draws and giveaways.

“Customers would successfully maintain the set balance over the six months period is eligible to win the jackpot of N150, 000, the grand finale prize”, he said.

Ezirim noted that the initiative would be sustained by the bank in the future in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) financial inclusion mandate.

Also speaking, the First bank Head, Youth/Women Banking, Mr. Olufemi Odumuboni, said that the promo dynamics was centered at making people to engage in financial discipline.

Odumuboni said that winners were selected based on certain principles that made them eligible to qualify for the draw.

He explained that apart from the N2.7 million set aside for the yearly scholarships that the bank had splashed about N900, 000 to customers that emerged winners at the various monthly draws for data purchase for their mobile phones.

“Winners from the monthly draw selected from the bank’s six geopolitical zones, are entitled to N5, 000 each which they are encouraged to use for data purchase for their mobile phones.”