By Babajide Komolafe
First Bank of Nigeria PLC is to achieve prominence in all its business segment with the aim of becoming the bank of first choice for majority of Nigerians.
â€œOur paramount goal is to ensure that our institution achieves pre-eminence in each of its businesses, through a deep commitment to service excellence to our customers.â€ Mr. Oba Otudeko,Â Chairman, Board of Director of the Bank, said in his inaugural message to the board last week.
To achieve this, he said the bank will strive to become the bank of first choice for majority of Nigerians targetting younger generation of Nigerians which constitute half of theÂ population.
â€œThe depth, in terms of scope and scale, that we seek require that the bank becomes the bank of first choice for the majority of Nigerians, and indeed Africans, throughout the world. This requires that we successfully make the transition in processes, people, and systems that allows the younger generation of Nigerians to connect with FirstBank.
â€œThis has become inevitable in view of the fact that half of our population is under 18 years of age. In other words, half of our population of around 150 million will be responsible for key buying decisions until mid-century. If we successfully connect with this critical demographic group, we would have positioned the Bank within touching distance of the future of the economy and of the nation,â€ he said
â€œOur ability to achieve this objective will depend on how well we are able to tailor our services to meet the individual needs of our customers. Put differently, the bankâ€™s key selling point, as we seek to grow market share and seize the windows of opportunity that have opened of late, will revolve round our ability to solve customersâ€™ problems.
â€œI recognise that nothing of value is built overnight; hence, we will relentlessly strive to upgrade service delivery to our customers by continuously improving our processes, and deploying cutting-edge technology on which the new service standards will be based. Because each customer will come to us with a unique problem set, the new service standards will rely on a higher quality of human capital able to distil these needs into innovative financial products/services.
The operative word is mass-customisation; and our goal should be to put in place a system that creates value at the bank-customer interaction stage through the design and deployment of customised products/services, and to ensure cost-price balance for mass-produced products/services.
â€œAchievement of our goals crucially will depend on the quality of our supporting human capital resources. At a different forum, I have stressed the importance of making FirstBank a hub for the boldest and brightest talent that exists anywhere, by equipping and developing our people and ensuring that, as individuals, we are truly first amongst our peers in the industry.
â€œMy point is that long-term success requires that we create a cadre of staff that is comfortable owning all the Bankâ€™s processes from conception to the end. If we must attract the required skill sets from the topmost tier of the pecking order, then we must continue to build an institution that remains the bank of first choice on the continent.
â€œAs we build scale within the nation through all the initiatives identified above, there is one complementary goal that we cannot afford to lose sight of â€“ our strategy of progressive internationalisation. It is crucial that we continue to strengthen our offshore locations (London, Paris, Johannesburg and Beijing) with a growing presence on the African continent.
â€œWe will do all of this while prudently and conservatively managing our balance sheet and continuing to justify the faith that our over 5 million customers and nearly 1.5 million shareholders have placed in us. We commit to decent returns and growth on shareholdersâ€™ investment in the bank.