First Gem, since its inception has focused on promoting a savings culture, financial literacy, wealth creation, healthy lifestyle amongst other aspects of the women part of the program, as one of First Bank of Nigeria's (FBN's) commitments to improving the lives of women in the country.
The Managing Director/CEO of the bank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, disclosed this at the 3rd anniversary of the First Gem initiative.
Adeduntan said the First Gem product provides lifestyle support for women to achieve their economic needs by educating them on personal health and financial independence.
He said FBN through First Gem had organized seminars, roadshows, workshops and conferences for women in a bid to bridge the gap women face in the journey to financial stability.
Speaking further, Adeduntan said First Bank through First Gem helps to impact women as account holders and groom them to become economic change agents for the nation and the globe at large.
The FBN boss also said that the product covered women in various business spheres like fashion, tourism, food, education, events planning, agriculture, amongst others.
Guest lecturer at the event Professor Mehta Kandarp, Senior Lecturer, IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain, gave an overview of "Negotiation as a Tool for Winning in Business & Career".
Professor Kandarp noted the importance of negotiation as a tool and life skill for women.In conducting informed negotiations, he charged women to show the potential of return and strategies in their plans to create wealth.
Speaking on the importance of data, he said that data is essential to accomplishing huge strides in negotiation, and as such, women should spend time preparing research materials beforehand.
He listed the following as some of key factors to note in negotiations;
Speaking on "Agriculture The New Oil: Understanding the Value Chain" Mr. Soji Apampa CEO, Convention on Business Integrity (CBi) Nigeria, discussed why the Agricultural sector is the new oil as it is projected to generate $1trn a year for Africa in the next 10 years, with Nigeria accounting for one third of that amount.
Apampa identified constrained access to finance, lack of technology and inadequate planning as part of the problems inhibiting sector development he also noted other problems such as many small-holder farmers, poor access to markets and lack of information and advisory services.
CBi's CEO stressed the need for increased productivity in Agri-business, believing that with the right mechanisms in place, there would be optimal production.
Apampa mentioned Diary production as an area with new opportunities for women to explore, as Nigeria has 11 million permanently stunted children stemming from some factors such as malnutrition.
Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, Chairman First Bank of Nigeria speaking on the theme of the conference "The Modern Manifesto Woman" described First Gem as a platform to teach women how to build personal wealth and manage their financial resources effectively, to achieve financial independence.
She identified negotiation as a critical skill that corporate and entrepreneurial women should develop and leverage.
Awosika emphasized the need for women to build a certain level of financial independence through making the right investment choices, asset acquisition, right career choice to enable them have capacity in future.
According to her, the goal of the First Gem forum was to provide women with financial knowledge.
"Women should serve as a value creators and value addition to their personal and immediate environment" she said.
The event featured goodwill messages from the First Lady of Kebbi State and CEO Medicaid RD, Dr. Mrs. Zainab Shinkafi- Bagudu, and the First Lady of Ogun State Her Excellency Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, who both lauded FBN for developing the "First Gem" initiative that recognized the importance of empowering women.
First, Gem 3rd anniversary equally featured testimonials from beneficiaries, Seed Fund Pitches and presentations on Business Funding by Dayo Ademola on Grants for Women in Fintech and also Accessing Grants for Start-ups by Ife Durosimi -Etti.