Foremost financial institution, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has offered to give financial support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Education Sector to cushion the effects of the COVID -19 pandemic.
Mr. Bankole Adediran, Head, Transaction Banking Products, FirstBank, made this known at the Bank’s SMEConnect webinar with theme: “Managing Your School through the Pandemic: Engagement and Retention Strategies”.
Adediran said; “FirstBank is ready to partner with SMEs in the education sector through the period of the novel coronavirus pandemic to sustain their businesses. FirstBank, as an institution, is very passionate about education, and will continue to support the sector.”
“FirstBank will continue to reinforce its leading role at enabling the growth of the educational sector in the country. FirstBank has an array of financial products that could be accessed by SMEs in the educational sector in the period of COVID -19.”
“SMEs in the sector ccan key into FirstEdu Loan targeted at private nursery, primary and secondary schools to assist the schools in achieving their desired growth in medium and long terms. The product provides funding advancement of up to N20 million for schools with a minimum of 100 students with school fees collection domiciled at FirstBank.”
“With the product, school owners/proprietors could stay ahead to make learning easy and conducive for students. FirstBank has launched various interventions and initiatives to support the sector to navigate through challenges occasioned by COVID -19.”
“FirstBank recently launched an e-learning initiative aimed at reaching out to one million students across the country to ensure they would be academically engaged while at home. FirstBank supported 10 universities and three secondary schools across the country with major infrastructure projects.”
“FirstBank donated 20,000 e-learning devices to the Lagos State Government to promote online learning for students in the public schools. Schools must learn from the COVID -19 pandemic by embracing automation to plug leakages in the sector.”
Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, Commissioner for Education, Lagos State, who was a panelist at the webinar, commended the Bank for donating 20,000 devices with six months data, to the state for e-learning.
Adefisayo said; “The state reached out to many companies for support at the wake of the pandemic and FirstBank came to its aid. All the schools were not prepared for the situation, most children in public schools did not have device and data for online learning.”
“This pandemic has been a terrible thing, and one lesson from it is that we have not invested enough in solutions we can deplore at a time like this. The pandemic has forced Nigerians to be more creative and innovative, schooling will no longer be the same again.”
“Teachers should change their teaching and learning strategies, COVID -19 has changed learning.”