Nigeria’s education sector got a boost recently as Nigeria’s largest financial institution, First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) rolled out an array of financial products and solutions targeted at enabling educational institutions acquire facilities that will scale up their operations and improve the lot of the education sector.
The Bank also announced the launch of bespoke products that empower parents and guardians to meet. the educational needs of their children.
The Bank’s educational products and solutions include the FirstEdu Loan, Operational Vehicle Loan, Term Loans for constructing new sites and extension of existing sites, Personal Loan Against Salary (PLAS) and FirstAdvance which enhances Parents/Guardians’ capacity to pay their wards’ school fees.
The FirstEdu loan offers short-term finance to private pre-primary, primary and secondary schools/ registered A level educational institutions with steady flow of income.
The product offers the opportunity for private schools to access flexible funding to meet urgent cash flow needs, replace old furniture and equipment or assets, purchase of fairly-used school buses, as well as refurbish dilapidated buildings and classroom blocks.
This product helps school owners/proprietors in bridging the “no-income” gap between school terms, and to enhance diverse assets acquisition. It allows schools access up to N20 million with no tangible collateral required apart from the domiciliation of school fees with the Bank. Schools with CAC registration that are yet to get Ministry of Education approval can access up to N2million without collateral for up to 90days.
In a bid to cushion the effect of the covid-19 pandemic, the Bank is in partnership with Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) to finance low-cost private schools at a single-digit interest rate where schools can access up to N5million.
The Bank is also in partnership with the apex association of private school owners in Nigeria, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) to finance member schools at a highly competitive rate. This reduces the cost of borrowing to the customer and eliminates the challenges posed by the provision of additional demanding collaterals.
The Operational Vehicle Loan is targeted at registered businesses. It allows the entrepreneur to acquire brand new vehicles for the day to day operation of the business. Organisations can take advantage of this facility to purchase school buses in the case of school proprietors and even upscale their staff welfare schemes through provision of staff buses. The product terms and conditions is competitive.
Personal Loan against Salary (PLAS) offers customers in paid employment access to cash to meet immediate financial needs such as payment of school fees, medical treatment, holiday expenses, etc. PLAS has a flexible repayment plan spread up to 48 months for our customers’ convenience. There is no equity contribution or collateral requirement.
FirstAdvance is a 30days tenured digital loan also available to salary customers who are in need of assistance to meet immediate financial needs. It empowers customers to access upto 50% of their net monthly salary in less than a minute at any desired time by dialing *894*11# or through our FirstMobile App. Only a salary account domiciled with FirstBank will qualify you for PLAS and FirstAdvance.
Beyond these, FirstBank is at the forefront of promoting virtual learning, whilst exposing not just school children but individuals of all ages to various e-learning initiatives, designed to promote innovation and skills development on emerging technologies through focus areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Coding, Cloud, Internet of Things, Blockchain, Data Science and Analytics, and Cybersecurity.
In achieving this, the Bank has collaborated with Lagos State government, IBM and Curious Learning to ensure the e-learning initiative swiftly moves across the country to school children and individuals with the need to promote the pursuit of knowledge, irrespective of age.
Speaking on the Bank’s support for schools, Mr. Chuma Ezirim, FirstBank’s Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, said “at FirstBank, we recognize the indelible roles the educational sector plays in promoting national economic development and we are delighted to support schools with collateral free educational solutions to meet various needs and projects to advance to the next level.”
“As schools proceed with the new term, we enjoin interested schools to visit the nearest branch or the Bank’s website for more information and encourage everyone to access our e-learning driven initiatives to keep learning and get exposed to various opportunities to stay ahead in today’s technologically advanced world.”