Dr. Adesola Adeduntan
By Our Reporter
First Bank of Nigeria Limited has under its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan positioned the brand as a clear leader in promoting financial inclusion in Nigeria. The bank has continually reached the underbanked and un-banked population to reduce poverty, bolster economic growth and development of Nigeria. These milestones have earned Adeduntan the 2019 Cranfield University Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award. The Award is the School’s highest honour and recognises his significant success within the banking industry and sector while upholding the highest standards in business practice.
The 21st century has been remarkable in many aspects. It witnessed the rise of a global economy and increase in power of private enterprise that gives individuals power to run businesses successfully.
It is a century where visionary men dared, achieved and moved longstanding businesses to enviable heights. These private sector leaders succeeded where others feared to try.
Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, the Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited and Subsidiaries is one of such leaders.
Adeduntan who took the role to run one of Nigeria’s biggest Tier-1 bank since January 1, 2016 has kept in on a path of sustainable growth and contributions to the nation’s domestic economy.
Prior to his appointment, he was an Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer for the Bank since 2014 when he was appointed to the Board of the Bank. Before joining FirstBank in 2014, Adeduntan was a Director and the pioneer Chief Financial Officer/Business Manager of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).
He has served as a Senior Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer at Citibank Nigeria Limited, a Senior Manager in the Financial Services Group of KPMG Professional Services and a Manager at Arthur Andersen Nigeria, among other exciting career paths.
The bank chief with several years of banking experience has contributed immensely to sustaining FirstBank’s position as a leading Tier-1 bank in the Nigerian financial services space.
Adeduntan is the recipient of the 2019 Cranfield University Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award, United Kingdom. The Award is the School’s highest honour and recognises those individuals who have achieved significant success within their industry and sector while upholding the highest standards in business practise.
The astute banker has carved a niche for himself by positioning the FirstBank brand as a clear leader in promoting financial inclusion in Nigeria given the significant strides the bank has made in reaching the underbanked and un-banked population designed to reduce poverty and importantly bolster economic growth and development of Nigeria.
As a global thought leader, Adeduntan is well-sought after and has shared his experience and expertise at notable events across the world espousing and even envisioning financial inclusion in the next 125 years.
These events include the 2019 Ethical Finance Conference in the UK which had in attendance over 500 leading finance practitioners from all over the world including with Sarah Breeden, Bank of England; Dame Susan Rice, Banking Standards Board; Gary Gillespie, Chief Economist, Scottish Government; a keynote speaker at 2019 University of Edinburgh Sustainable Business in Africa Forum; The Africa CEO Forum 2018, Abidjan; the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Annual State of Nigeria Conference as well as 2019 LSE Africa Summit.
Adeduntan has won other laurels due to his sustained professional achievements; significant economic and social impact; leadership qualities as well as a role model. These include the 2018 African Banker of the Year in African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Award in South Africa.
Analysts believe that the award of the 2019 Cranfield University Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award, United Kingdom to Adeduntan was in recognition of key milestones the bank has achieved under his leadership.
Agent Banking Milestones
First Bank has under Adeduntan expressed its commitment to continue to drive financial inclusion through its over 37,000 Firstmonie Agent Network present in 99 per cent of the 774 local government areas and has processed over N2 trillion through the initiative.
FirstBank’s Firstmonie service provides financial/banking solutions to rural and semi-urban locations across the country. Such solutions include account opening, cash deposit, cash withdrawals, airtime purchase, bill payments and much more. Through this channel, the bank is committed to providing convenient services that engender and provides ease of access to banking products, thereby saving time and travel costs for users of the network.
While speaking at the Firstmonie Agent Banking National Award ceremony, held in Lagos, Adeduntan said the firstmonie agent network is a channel through which the bank expresses its unalloyed commitment and passion to promote opportunities of financial services for every Nigerian , especially within the low-income segment.
He said: “The initiative has witnessed several changes in the operating structure and value proposition of FirstBank. In December 2017, the bank ran a pilot test with over 400,000 transactions processed and following the success of the first run, it re-launched in 2018.”
According to Adeduntan, through Firstmonie, the bank has remained at the forefront of driving nation-wide inclusion, given our belief that access to financial services is part of lifting people out of poverty and fostering collective national economic development.
Adeduntan said: “The key strengthen of the bank’s services is to look at the gaps in the society and develop products and services that address the gap. As an integral part of our strategy, we believe in working with the CBN to improve financial inclusion index of the country. We would, at FirstBank, assist Nigeria to address poverty and hunger, thereby promoting security of life and property. Because when people are gainfully employed, the implication is that they will think less of crime,” he said.
Banking with Technology
Banking and technology are becoming inseparable. FirstBank under Adeduntan is driving growth and customer services with technology. The 2019 Financial Technology (Fintech) Summit organised by the bank was an opportunity for the bank to emphasise the need for technology in e-business, digital offering, agent banking, wholesale/ transaction banking, retail/consumer lending and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) productivity.