Saving is the main source of capital accumulation which is the main determinant of investments and hence growth in any economy.
In developed countries, the level of savings has led to greater transformations of these societies over time. Thus, a high rate of saving leads to a high rate of investment, provided the three necessary steps are upheld.
First, there must be an increase in volume of real savings so that additional resources become available for investment. Secondly, a means of collecting and channeling the savings to make them available to investors is necessary and thirdly, there must be some act of investment by which savings are transformed into productive capital.
In the case of Nigeria, the savings culture is yet to be fully embraced as the motivation to save is lacking considering the cost of living in the country at the moment.
Recent reports from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated that the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded 2 per cent Y-o-Y in March 2019, Nominal GDP reached $103.8 billion while its Gross Savings Rate was measured at 15.5 per cent in Dec 2017, compared with 13.1 per cent in the previous year, meaning that the savings rate increased by 2 per cent.
For Nigeria to see greater and better transformation, then the savings culture has to be top notch and this is why Access Bank has and is still offering a lifeline for Nigerians to partake and reap the benefits via the DiamondXtra initiative.
The initaitive conceived by the defunt Diamond Bank in July 2008, was formely called Diamond SavingsXtra and then was changed to DiamondXtra in December 2013 in a bid to cater to a larger section of Nigerians. So when the merger between Access Bank and Diamond Bank took place, there were fears that the savings initiative would no longer be on. But much to the surprise of Nigerians, the initiative has come to stay and still stands as the longest reward scheme with the Access Bank going one step for the 11th season of the scheme
The reward scheme now has two million customers with over N5 billion won in cash and gift items with 15,000 Nigerians rewarded monthly and quartely in the last 10 years since its maiden edition.
How the scheme works
DiamondXtra is an interest yielding hybrid account which allows deposit of both cash and third party cheques. Hybrid means a combination of both savings and current account features.
Basically, a customer simply needs to open a DiamondXtra account with just N5,000. However, the more multiples of N5,000 a customer saves, the higher her chances of winning at the monthly and quarterly draws.
At the monthly draw, 10 customers have the chance to win N1 million each while the quarterly draw includes the star prize of N100,000 salary paid every month for the next 20 years, education allownace for five years, rent for a year, and cash prizes ranging from 100,000 to N1million.
While speaking to Daily Sun, Executive Director, Retail Banking, Access Bank Plc, Victor Etuokwu, stated that Access Bank remains committed to rewarding its customers for their patronage and added that DiamondXtra is the best banking product in the country at the moment.
He said: “We want every Nigerian to move to the DiamondXtra initiative so that they can partake in the goodies which the product brings. The only way companies remain profitable is by creating value so as long as we keep doing this, our customer base will increase and this initiative will not affect our bottom-line”
Also speaking, Head, Product insights and Capabilities of the bank, Robert Giles, said:
“DiamondXtra is not going away, it is here to stay and so customers should be assured that the corporate merger between Access and Diamond banks will ensure more accessibility of products to more customers.
It is exciting that we are going to continue changing more lives because we now have a larger customer base. So our coming together with the best capabilities will bring the best services and products in the market.”
Winners recount joyous shock
At one of the Season 9 draws, a trader from Abia, Raphael Ogugua, won a new car. During the presentation at the Diamond Bank main branch Umuahia, Abia State, on February 16, 2018, Ogugua came out of the car and exclaimed: “It is real; it is real. I am the owner of a car”. He then sprawled on the bonnet of the glittering car still shouting in excitement.
Ogugua, who had not owned a car before, said that when he got the first call informing him that he had won a car last December he dismissed it as one of those scam messages. However, he said that when another call came three days later the truth sank in.
Catherine Onwusonye, a businesswoman based in Abuja, was rewarded with the DiamondXtra star prize, a Hyundai Accent car, during the Season 10 DiamondXtra Regional Prize Presentation Ceremony which held in Lagos.
Shortly after the prize presentation, Catherine told journalists that she thought it was a joke when she received the call informing her that she had won the star prize of the draw.
“I have never won anything free in my life before and I never expected that a new car would be the first free thing I would win. I want to encourage other customers to open a DiamondXtra account, you can never tell when it will be your turn.” she said
Last June, Mrs Nnenna Chukwu, was the star prize winner, winning N100, 000 per month for 20 years in the salary for life category. Chukwu could not hide her excitement, explaining that she had opened her DiamondXtra account a long time ago and was not expecting to win.
In April, one of the winners was Chukwuemeka Emmanuel, a businessperson based in Lagos. He had been operating his DiamondXtra account for five years.
“I am filled with joy today and I encourage Nigerians to tap into the rewarding scheme. When I received a call that I have won N1million, I did not believe it, but now that the bank’s executives have presented a cheque, I have no reason to doubt them.
I thank God and thank the management of Access Bank for this great initiative. My advice to all out there is to go and open a DiamondXtra account and save to win too”.