Leading financial services provider, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), has unveiled a scheme tagged, ‘’FCMB Education Advisory Service’’, that would ensure convenient and affordable education support for its customers who or their children desire to study abroad and obtain undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. The support includes overseas admission information services, school fees remittance, school living allowances and travel fares, loans to support school fees payments, visa process, travels and examination preparation. Access to customers and other aspiring candidates is said to be available on FCMB website with branches where operational desks are currently located, listed.
It is part of the Bank’s contributions towards developing a new generation of brilliant minds that would take Nigeria to the next level. The scheme is in partnership with MOD Group, a foremost international education promotion and marketing company with operations deeply rooted in Nigeria and covering the West Africa sub-region.
Under the initiative which was launched at a ceremony on May 30, 2018 in Lagos, FCMB is offering a full range of core financial services, tailored to meet the needs of its customers in the area of acquiring education abroad. This is in addition to a wide range of benefits that the Bank is providing for potential and existing students under the Education Advisory Service initiative
Among these are, up to N5million school fees support to customers from the Bank and Credit Direct Limited, one of the subsidiaries of FCMB Group Plc (the holding company), Flexx account (in foreign exchange) for students going abroad to study, prompt and secure international funds transfer through internet banking platforms for the payment of school fees and other educational expenses abroad. There is also the issuance of FCMB debit cards, including the pocket money card (pre-loaded) that can be used to withdraw cash from overseas ATMs and make payments at stores and supermarkets.
On the other hand, MOD Group will provide advisory services, such as, school admission processing, visa processing and examination preparation for beneficiaries of the FCMB Education Advisory Service.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative, the Executive Director, Retail Banking of FCMB, Mr. Olu Akanmu, stated the commitment of the Bank to champion and execute initiatives that would promote education and knowledge acquisition among Nigerians.
According to him, ‘’at FCMB, we walk and work with our customers to fulfil their life aspirations for themselves, their families and their businesses, including the provision of the best education. The FCMB Education Advisory Services in partnership with MOD Services and international partners also covers school admission process, Visa processing, travel and examination Preparation. We recognise that knowledge of what to do and how to do it matters in securing good overseas education. FCMB will also be providing prompt school fees and living allowances remittance, loans to support school fees payment and international cards to support living overseas for Nigerian students
Mr. Akanmu also added, ‘’we have Lufthansa Airline, beside other partner airlines on board to offer students, discounted fares under this scheme. This also covers their guardians accompanying them. In addition, we have AXA Mansard coming on board to provide medical cover for the students to the tune of $60,000 a year’’.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Managing Director of MOD Group, Mr. Michael Dosunmu, expressed gratitude to FCMB for the partnership. According to him, ‘’one of the major challenges faced by Nigerians who desire to study abroad is funding and the necessary information to achieve this. We believe that with our partnership with FCMB, through the platform of the Education Advisory Service, this challenge will be addressed. By providing a platform for Nigerians, especially young ones to study abroad, we will be helping to develop a new set of manpower equipped with the required international exposure, knowledge and skills to champion the development of the country. We therefore urge all those who have big dreams for their children and families to take advantage of this opportunity’’.
The Permanent Secretary/Tutor General, Ministry of Education in Lagos State, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Onadipe, described the Educational Advisory Service scheme as a step in the right direction. She stated that, ‘’education is the bedrock of any society. For FCMB and MOD Group to come up with this package is an indication that they are committed to providing the necessary support to assist families and our young ones develop academically. I will appeal to FCMB to also accommodate wards from public schools, as they also desire the same foreign education’’.
On his part, Head of Communications, British Council, Mrs. Edemekong Uyoh, said, ‘’we consider the FCMB Education Advisory Service as an initiative that would give opportunities for young Nigerians and enhance capacity. The more educated we are, the more we can add value to our lives, economy and the society. At the British Council, we are particular about providing young people with pathways for the future. This is one of the initiatives that also align with our objectives and we are happy to associate with it’’.
Also commenting on the scheme, a Representative of the High Commission of Ireland, Tessa Bagu harped on the importance of education. She stated that, ‘’education is the key to the future and development of a country. It is knowledge that drives development. Ireland is one of the leading economies in Europe today because of the high level of education of the people. We are optimistic that through the partnership between FCMB and MOD Group, Nigeria will grow further’’.