For centuries, there have been heated debates over the sources of economic growth in developing economies and why some countries reflect strong economic growth compared to others.
The hypotheses have often centered around crude oil, agriculture, revenues, private capital, bubbling stock market, stable security, low unemployment rate, high standard of living amongst others. But in recent times, one factor that has been added to this list is diaspora remittances as it is one of the major international financial resources, which sometimes exceed the flows of foreign direct investment (FDI).
Remittances promote economic growth by increasing household income and increasing income creates the opportunity to boost consumer spending, accumulation of assets, promotion of self-employment, and investment in small business.
Data from the World Bank in 2014 indicates that global remittances stood at $430 billion dollars in 2011 and was 0.31 percent of global GDP in 2009. The impact of remittances on any economy is more profound in developing countries because they receive $307.1 billion of the total N416 billion inward remittances, amounting to about 74 percent.
Remittances also account for about 27 percent of the GDP of developing countries. According to the World Bank, remittances flows to the developing world have reached $414 billion in 2013 (up 6.3 percent over 2012), and are now, behind the foreign direct investment, the second-largest source of external financial flows to developing countries.
Daily Sun investigations reveal that the enormous upward movement in remittances payments may be attributed largely to two factors, namely; immigration between developing and developed countries which increased dramatically in the past 20 years and decline in transaction costs as technological improvements have allowed for faster, lower-cost mechanisms for the international transfer of payments between individuals.
This means that it is different from other external capital inflows like foreign direct investment, foreign loans and aids due to its stable nature. Little wonder why the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) unveiled a new policy in 2020 that granted unfettered access to forex from the diaspora and other money transfer remittances like Western Union and MoneyGram.
The bank also clarified transactions that are eligible under the policy in line with global best practices. The policy allows beneficiaries of diaspora remittances through International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) to henceforth receive such inflows in the original foreign currency through designated bank of their choice. It explained that the new regulation was part of efforts to liberalise, simplify and improve receipt and administration of diaspora remittances into Nigeria.
Under the new policy, recipients of remittances may have the option of receiving such funds in foreign currency cash (US Dollars) or into their ordinary domiciliary account.
“These changes are necessary to deepen the foreign exchange market, provide more liquidity and create more transparency in the administration of Diaspora remittances into Nigeria,” the apex bank stated.
It explained that the changes would help finance a future stream of investment opportunities for Nigerians in the Diaspora, while also guaranteeing that the recipients of remittances would receive a market-reflective exchange rate for their inflows.
Backed by these words, several commercial banks swung into action to tap into this virgin zone by introducing a variety of offers that yield fruits as more remittances started coming in.
However, the CBN in March 2021, in a bid to encourage more inflows, introduced a new incentive tagged “Naira 4 Dollar Scheme”. In a circular signed by Saleh Jibrin, CBN ‘s Director, Trade and Exchange Department, said, the scheme would allow all recipients of diaspora remittances to be paid N5 for everyone dollar received.
This explains why First Bank of Nigeria Limited chose to expand diaspora remittances inflow into the country by increasing its network of International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) targeted at easing accessibility of its customers to receive money from close to 100 countries across the world in a safe and secured manner.
Before then, it was on record that FirstBank has maintained a long-standing partnership with Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, Transfast, and WorldRemit. The Bank is also in partnership with other IMTOs including Wari, Smallworld, Sendwave, Flutherwave, Funtech, Thunes and Venture Garden Group to promote remittance inflows into the country, thus putting Nigerians and residents at an advantage in receiving money from their families, friends and loved ones across the bank’s 750 branches, especially in this Yuletide season.
For potential customers without an existing domiciliary account, can have their dollar account automatically created for their remittances and can also receive inflow directly into their account through Western Union. In addition, FirstBank has launched its wholly owned remittance platform named First Global Transfer product to promote the international transfer of funds across its subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa. These subsidiaries include FBNBank DRC, FBNBank Ghana, FBNBank Gambia, FBNBank Guinea, FBNBank Sierra-Leone, and FBNBank Senegal.
Reiterating the bank’s resolve in promoting diaspora remittances, regardless of where one is across the globe, the Deputy Managing Director, Mr Gbenga Shobo said, “At First Bank, expanding our network of International Money Transfer Operators is in recognition of the significant roles diaspora remittances play in driving economic growth such as helping recipients meet basic needs, fund cash and non-cash investments, finance education, foster new businesses and debt servicing.
We are excited about these partnerships, as it is essential to ensure our customers are at an advantage to receive money from their loved ones and business associates, anywhere they are across the world.”
Having been at the forefront of pioneering international funds transfer and remittances over 25 years ago, it is safe to say the bank’s wealth of experience and operation in over 750 locations nationwide gives it the edge in the market.
With its total principal standing at N100 billion and over one million customers to service in 2020, FirstBank is providing prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand, a credible financial partner, thus promoting economic growth and development.
Parallex Bank Debuts As Newest Commercial Bank In Nigeria
Parallex Bank, a licenced Microfinance Bank, has successfully transited to a commercial bank after 14 years of operations.
According to the bank’s chairman, Dr. Adeola Phillips, the bank is delving into the commercial banking space, to drive consumer-centric innovation that will propel the banking industry to greater heights.
The bank’s Managing Director, Mr. Olufemi Bakre, who spoke during the launch of the bank’s commercial operations, affirmed that the bank’s promise to its customers is to be an enabler of limitless banking. According to him, the vision of the bank is to be the preferred financial solution provider redefining customer experience through innovation.
The bank revealed its plan to disrupt the market and delight customers with very attractive offers. It noted that most transactions on Parallex mobile app are free but beyond that, customers will have the freedom to do much more with the app.
Parallex bank converted from Parallex Microfinance Bank (a National Microfinance Bank incorporated in 2008 as a Unit MFB) to a commercial bank duly licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria to carry out commercial banking services. This is a first-of-its-kind achievement in the Nigerian banking space.
The bank noted that it is “poised to be the preferred financial solutions provider redefining customer experience through digital innovations.
“This we will achieve by leveraging the best talents and technology to deliver unparalleled value to our stakeholders. With a strong ecosystem anchored around the customer, we offer a superior product portfolio that is customer-focused and innovative, yet simple”.
With a vision to leverage the best talent and technology to deliver unparalleled value to all its stakeholders, the bank noted that it is open to working with various stake holders to amplify its impact and capability.
FirstBank Rewards Customers in Transact and Win Promo
Getting rewarded for spending money is a dream that is probably going to remain exciting for many people, but not for the Firstmonie Wallet users. In a two month Transact and Win campaign that started on November 22, 2021, First Bank of Nigeria Limited is rewarding several customers for carrying out transactions on its Firstmonie Wallet application.
The e-wallet is useful for conveniently paying utility bills, purchasing airtime and data, transferring and receiving money, and many other digital transactions. Just for using the mobile-friendly wallet app, Customers got rewarded with mouth-watering prizes both in cash and kind. The number of transactions done on the app determines the price a user could win.
100 customers who had done 1-15 transactions through Firstmonie Wallet within the month won N10,000 cash price; 53 25kg bags of rice and 50 units of standing fans were also won by customers who carried out 16 – 30 transactions with the Firstmonie Wallet; 2 units of power generating sets, 1 unit of Air Conditioning systems and 1 unit LED Televisions went to customers who carried 31 – 50 transactions; while 2 units of iPhone 12 were won by customers who had carried out over 50 transactions on the app within the month.
Victor Nnanna Onyedikachi, a student of the University of Abuja was one of the winners of the iPhone 12, and while receiving his gift, he admitted that he did not expect to win the prize. “I used the Firstmonie Wallet App, and just like that, I was told that I had qualified. I did not believe it until I saw it myself. I am truly grateful to FirstBank” he said.
Other winners also expressed their pleasure at being rewarded for using a completely user-friendly app. “There is no issue of service error when using it for any transaction. The service is seamless and the app is easy to use” one of them said.
The Group Executive, e-Business & Retail products, Mr Chuma Ezirim had noted that the promo was targeted at appreciating customers for their patronage; and in line with the Bank’s December-is-a-Vybe campaign. “This promo is hinged on the need to appreciate our customers for their patronage, especially as we have had an increased engagement and usages of the various services offered by our mobile-friendly wallet product,” Ezirim said when the promo was being launched.
Interestingly, the promo also includes new customers and users of the app. By simply downloading the mobile app from the play store, or using the *894# USSD string to sign up, anyone can qualify for the promo. The promo runs till January 22, 2022, so what are you waiting for as you could be the next winner of any of these fantastic prizes.
As the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 127 years, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has remained at the forefront of promoting digital payment in the country, and the Firstmonie Wallet is one of the channels for digital transactions.
Little wonder FirstBank was named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” and “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International. FirstBank also bagged the Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years.
We Are Not Affiliated With Access Capital Investment Platform, Access Bank Warns
The management of Access Bank Plc has issued a disclaimer in respect of the Access Capital Investment Platform which has been circulating.
The bank, which dissociates itself and its subsidiaries from the investment platform noted that the online investment entity has been soliciting members of the public to invest in its Access Capital Investment products promising mouth-watering returns on investment.
“By this disclaimer, Access Bank Plc wishes to dissociate itself, affiliates, subsidiaries and/or proxies from the activities, contract, claims or business engagements of Access Capital Investment Platform”, the bank said.
The bank further stressed that “Access Capital Investment Platform is not an affiliate nor subsidiary of Access Bank Plc and it would be at the risk of anyone who invests in any of the Access Capital Investment packages/products, as Access Bank Plc would not be responsible for any loss, damages, refund whatsoever that may arise therefrom”.
According to Access bank, relevant law enforcement and regulatory agencies have been notified of this disclaimer.
Investors King reports that there are lots of fake investments platforms in Nigeria. These platforms offer unsuspecting members of the public investments return that are too good to be true.
Most times, they offer fake – but often convincing – opportunity to make a profit after they hand over a sum of money. They pretend to be representing a legitimate and trusted investment group and pressurize their victims into making a rushed decision.
Usually, these fraudsters use platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to lure people into investing in cryptocurrencies, foreign exchange and binary options and often have convincing social media profiles or websites with fake reviews. Some of them even pay people to write fake reviews for them.
Recall that Investors King had earlier reported that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq warned the beneficiaries of the N-Power scheme not to participate in any unverified investment scheme.
She had noted, in a statement, that the ministry is aware of the current fraudulent investment scheme trending on social media and therefore, urged N-power beneficiaries not to fall victim.
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