By Abiodun Lawal
First Bank of Nigeria Ltd. and Nigeria’s cement giant, Lafarge Africa Plc. on Friday met with some distributors of cement in South West with the aim of providing financial services.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the financial services are to help the distributors to navigate through financial challenges.
The meeting, which held in Abeokuta, was tagged: “Key Distributors’ Forum”.
It was attended by major cement distributors from the six states in the South-West Geopolitical Zone.
The financial services, according to FirstBank, include a loan facility tagged Temporary Over Draft (TOD) – a short term credit facility designed to augment the capitals of the distributors.
At the event, Mrs Olaitan Martins, Group Executive, Transaction Banking Division, FirstBank, Mrs Olaitan Martins, said that the forum was to help the distributors to sustain their businesses as well as to ensure availability of cement.
Martins, represented by Mr Mobolade Ojeahere, Group Head, Transaction Banking Division, FirstBank, said the forum would help the distributors to identify the challenges in the industry and help them to make choices that would improve their businesses.
According to her, the purpose of the event is to bring the distributors together to discuss some challenges and help them to navigate through the challenges.
“We shared with them some products that will support them, how they can grow their sales more efficiently and how they can support their customers,” Martins said.
She said that it was important for FirstBank to engage its clients in the cement industry to help to them drive sales and growth.
She added that the meeting was aimed at promoting collaborations and meaningful engagements on how to leverage technology to navigate through challenges.
She said that the meeting was also aimed at creating opportunities both for the cement company and the distributors.
Similarly, the Head of Value Chain Management at FirstBank, Mr Bolatito Akinboye, said that the bank, among other things, offered loans with low interest rate and zero collateral to cement distributors.
The Customer Relations Manager of Lafarge, Mr Augustine Sobola, in his remarks, gave the assurance that the company would keep supporting cement distributors to help them to stay afloat.
“The industry has gone through so much. There have been three price increments this year: so, this is the best time for us to support our cement distributors,” he said. (NAN)