The name Kakawa is an unusual one for a specialized financial institution such as a Discount House. The significance of the name is tied to the history of banking in Nigeria that was pioneered by the Bank of British West Africa in 1894. After a change of name in 1957 and another in 1969, the Bank of British West Africa became known as First Bank of Nigeria in 1979. First Bank, whose head office is on Kakawa Street, is the single largest shareholder of Kakawa Discount House Limited.
In settling for the name Kakawa, the shareholders were primarily influenced by a sense of history and culture, a belief in indigenous capability and a commitment to the highest professional standards represented by the historical name.