First Bank of Nigeria Limited is in partnership with Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) to finance low-cost private schools at a single digit interest rate where schools can access up to N5 million.

Mr Chuma Ezirim, FirstBank’s Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, said in a statement that the partnership was in place in a bid to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic
Ezirim said the bank recognised the indelible roles the educational sector played in promoting national economic development.

He said the bank was delighted to support schools with collateral free educational solutions to meet various needs and projects to advance to the next level.

The official said First Bank was also in partnership with the apex association of private school owners in Nigeria, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) to finance member schools at a highly competitive rate.

Ezirim said that the Bank’s educational products and solutions include the FirstEdu loan, which offers short-term finance to private pre-primary, primary and secondary schools/ registered A level educational institutions with steady flow of income.

The product offers opportunity for private schools to access flexible funding to meet urgent cash flow needs, replace old furniture and equipment or assets, purchase of fairly-used school buses, as well as refurbishing dilapidated buildings and classroom blocks.

This product helps school owners/proprietors in bridging the ‘no-income’ gap between school terms, and to enhance diverse assets acquisition.
It allows schools access up to N20 million with no tangible collateral required apart from the domiciliation of school fees with the Bank.

Schools with CAC registration that are yet to get Ministry of Education approval can access up to N2 million without collateral for up to 90days.
He listed other packages and solutions as operational vehicle loan, term loans for constructing new sites and extension of existing sites, Personal Loan Against Salary (PLAS) and FirstAdvance which enhances Parents/Guardians’ capacity to pay their wards’ school fees.

“Beyond these, FirstBank is at the forefront of promoting virtual learning, whilst exposing not just school children but individuals of all ages to various e-learning initiatives, designed to promote innovation and skills development on emerging technologies through focus areas such as artificial intelligence, coding, cloud, internet of things, blockchain, data science and analytics, and cybersecurity.

“In achieving this, the Bank has collaborated with Lagos State government, IBM and Curious Learning to ensure the e-learning initiative swiftly moves across the country to school children and individuals with the need to promote the pursuit of knowledge, irrespective of age,” Ezirim said.

He said that the bank had supported schools with educational based products and solutions to enable acquisition of skills to drive expansion and development of the educational sector.