First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Plc is staking N1 billion in Omatek Computers to finance ownership of computers by Nigerians. The bank has also formally adopted the Omatek brand as hardware of choice for its network of branches nationwide. The First Bank N1 billion stake would enable a credit facility for specific categories of Nigerians to purchase Omatek computers with payment stretched over several months.

The bank's credit facility would help advance the key objectives of the Computer- for All Initiative (CANi) scheme. But it would cater for Nigerians who ordinarily are outside the CANi scope.

The scheme would cater for employees of public and private establishments, including those of small and medium enterprises (SMES), and self employed individuals. According to First Bank's Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Jacobs Ajekigbe, the computer financing scheme is to allow Nigerians have the necessary financial capacity to acquire the basic ICT skills to drive their businesses and become more productive.

While describing the facility as part of the bank's social responsibility aimed at uplifting the computer literacy quotient of the average Nigerian citizen, Ajekigbe assured Omatek of the bank's willingness to support initiatives that would promote economic growth and empowerment of the citizens. He enjoined those in the private and public to exploit the opportunity to own their computers and be computer literate.

"First Bank has demonstrated its commitments to improving the national economy over the years as one of most reliable financial institutions. With this present commitment, we at Omatek believe that the bank has shown that it believes Nigeria's chances at leapfrogging its economy is through having citizens that are ICT enabled," said CEO of Omatek Florence Seriki in Lagos.

First Bank is Nigeria's oldest bank and also the industry leader in terms of financial strength, national spread and stability. It is also one of the most respected business institutions noted for its huge investment in social services. Under the First Bank and Omatek deal, prospective employees of private or public establishments' only need to have employers sign on their behalf as guarantors and the money would be deducted from the employees' salary every month. According to the bank, only employed professionals who earn about N300, 000 and above per annum are eligible for the computer financing scheme.

 Also qualified are self-employed professionals with verifiable income. Institution and multinationals that are interested in arranging for loans for their employees could also benefit from the scheme.According to Seriki, part of the company's focus was to equip the younger generation from primary to tertiary institutions in order to establish an IT driven population that would create a knowledge-based economy stressing that with the bank facility, Omatek is more than ready to deliver computers to every home through the CAN initiative.

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