In continuation of the Federal Government’s policy on financial inclusion for unbanked Nigerians, the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai on Tuesday inaugurated agent banking at the 20 Battalion Model Barracks in Serti, Taraba.
Buratai said at the occasion that the move was aimed at bringing banking services closer to the army personnel and their families with a view of saving them from the stress of travelling a long distance to access the services.
The Army chief said this was part of the Army’s corporate social responsibility aimed at enhancing army civil relationship as the agent bank would benefit the entire Gashaka local government area of the State and improve the economic growth of the people.
He said that the system would be explored in the payment of basic allowances for officers on the front line so that their families would be able to access the funds without difficulty.
“It is with great pleasure that I launch this agent banking here at this 20 Battalion model barracks in Serti Baruwa, Gashaka local government area of Taraba state. This will definitely bring banking services to the doorsteps of the men and officers of the Nigerian Army and their families and indeed, the entire community.
“This scheme which is part of the Federal Government’s policy of financial inclusion for all Nigerians is also part of the Army’s corporate social responsibility aimed at enhancing the military-civil relationship and the economic well-being of the people of the community.”
The COAS expressed delight with the impact of the skill acquisition program his administration carried out for Wives of the officers in the barracks in 2016 and promised to collaborate with the bank so that they could get financing to enhance their businesses.
“Wives of the Nigerian Army officers requested for skills acquisition program and for banking services when I came here in 2016 and I am glad that it is fulfilled today.
“I am most delighted at the impact of the skills acquisition as shown in the city presented to me today by the beneficiaries of the scheme.
“I will collaborate with our partner,  the First Bank plc so that you can access funds to grow your businesses,” Buratai said.
In his remarks, Mr Shehu Aliyu the Northern Head of retail banking at First Bank lauded the move as a welcome development.
“Nothing is too good for the Nigerian Army considering the huge sacrifices they make to sustain our nationhood and protect the lives and property of the citizens,” he said.