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By Chijioke Ohuocha
LAGOS, April 28 Nigeria's First Bank
plans to have 30 million customers by 2020, 17 million more than
now, with digital banking helping it to reach that goal, its
chief executive said on Friday.
Adesola Adeduntan said 47 percent of transactions were being
carried out electronically by the end of March and the lender
was aiming to serve customers more cheaply outside its branches.
Industry data showed that instant transfers hit 38 trillion
naira ($125 billion) last year. Nigerian banks had a total of 65
million accounts last year, up from 23 million eight years ago.
"We have set ourselves an ambitious three-year plan of
transformation," Adeduntan told Reuters by phone.
"We have enough brick and mortar (branches) and need to push
Adeduntan said the bank had hired some executives and was
transforming its processes including centralising approvals to
execute its strategy over the next three years.
First Bank has 750 branches in Nigeria and has been
developing an agency banking model to win more customers from
next month, particularly in the rural areas where more than 60
percent of Nigeria's 180 million people live, Adeduntan said.
"In the aftermath of the implementation of biometric
identification for customers we now have a clearer idea of
Nigerians who have bank accounts," he said.
The bank is also aiming to increase its lending by five and
10 percent this year.
($1 = 304.85 naira)
(Editing by Mark Potter)