Connect with us

BUSINESS

WITH FIRSTBANK’S SPARK, GLAD TIDINGS ECHO FOR LESS PRIVILEGED CHILDREN

Published

on

 Their excitement was exceptional that Saturday morning on 6 July 2019. It was an overflowing river of joy and gratitude they could not contain, pumping from their hearts. The students and staff of Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired, Surulere, Lagos had a good reason to be ecstatic.

 

The Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan – First Bank of Nigeria Limited – and a team of volunteers from the nation’s premier financial institution visited the school to demonstrate acts of random kindness. Provisions (Food supplies, drinks, toiletries) and educational materials were given to the school to cater for the hundreds of children under the care of Mr. Kehinde Alimi, Principal of Wesley School 1.

The visit to Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired was part of the 2019 CR&S Week activities by FirstBank. The Bank had its maiden CR&S week in 2017.

 

Expressing his gratitude, Alimi began his speech by asking the students of the school to shout, ‘three hallelujahs’, thereon stating “I sincerely thank every member of your team (FirstBank) for their kindness and generosity. For all you have given us, God will replenish you back a million times. To have reached this stage as an institution has not been easy, but we have been able to pull through with the support of God and organisations like yours. The sheer quantum of materials you have brought also shows that you recognise that we are two schools and not just one – Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired 1 for senior students and Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired 2 for the junior students. You have proved that FirstBank is indeed the first while others follow.”

 

Like Oliver Twist, Alimi couldn’t resist asking for more: “We thank you most sincerely for today’s visit and we kindly enjoin you to continue to find time to interact with us. For us to have been in your thoughts means that you are concerned about our welfare, but we will still be approaching you with requests. We want you to find time out of no time to come and be part of our programmes. We are grateful for your efforts and pray that God will continue to sustain the Bank and all its staff. Thank you very much for all your cumulative efforts.”

 

Dr. Adeduntan had explained that the FirstBank team came to the school to demonstrate the kindness that it preaches and to assure students and staff of its support.

 

He said, “we believe that if all of us can show acts of kindness to people around us, we will make the world we live in a much better place for everyone. Our decision to come here today is to show appreciation to the management for shouldering the enormous responsibility of taking care of these children with special needs. This visit is also to assure the children who are schooling here that, as the popular saying goes, you will not walk alone.”

 

Commendably, Twenty-three other charity homes/institutes including camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were visited by FirstBank staff volunteers, led by senior members of staff. The Executive Director, Public Sector, FirstBank, Abdullahi Ibrahim with other volunteer employees visited the School for the Blind, Jabi, Abuja while the Group Head, Corporate Banking, Remi Ajose-Adeogun visited the Down Syndrome Foundation of Nigeria, Fagba, Lagos. Other visited locations were Madinatu and Almiskin IDP Camps, Maiduguri amongst others. Food supplies (provisions, drink, toiletries) and educational materials were delivered to all the visited homes.

 

The wide range of activities of the FirstBank CR&S week underscores SPARK (Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness), a values-based initiative by the Bank which focuses on creating and reinforcing a conscious mindset of showing compassion, empathy as well as giving to others.  It is aimed at inspiring people to make a difference as it is designed to promote kindness to one another. It is executed through a range of strategically designed activities including visits to homes for the less privileged members of society and talks about SPARK.

 

FirstBank’s visit to the various homes was particularly thoughtful in the light of the predicament of the less privileged and persons with disabilities in the country, estimated to be around 19 million by the National Population Commission in 2018.  Many of these persons face several challenges including hunger, starvation, stigmatisation, discrimination and lack of access to healthcare, housing and education. Though the government moved to intervene in their plight when President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 in January, there has yet been the expected respite for them hence, most of them rely on the benevolence of public-spirited institutions like FirstBank and individuals.

 

Considering the number of challenges that Nigerians living with disabilities face, especially lack of access to healthcare, housing and education, there’s no gainsaying the fact that they need all the care and support they can get. And by continuously including them in its plans since it commenced the enlarged CS&R Week in 2017, FirstBank has been at the forefront of providing support for the less privileged Nigerians by reiterating that no assistance is too much to help them live a fulfilled life.

 

With the impacts made across over half a dozen countries that play host to the Bank’s business operations, the FirstBank 2019 CR&S week reinforced that philanthropy is no doubt embedded in its DNA.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

BUSINESS

KPMG SME REPORT: FIRSTBANK NAMED BIGGEST MOVER IN 2019

Published

on

Written by Collins Nweze

 

Capital is crucial in driving sustainable Small and Medium Enterprises’(SMEs’) growth and uplifting the economy. First Bank of Nigeria Limited, as part of the launch of its specialised SMEs’ propositions, has continually supported SMEs through diverse initiatives. The bank says its support for SMEs is in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s directive on improved funding for SMEs to ensure economic growth and development.

 

The economies of great nations thrive on the strength and performance of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) seen as engine of growth.

 

For Nigeria, the Central Bank (CBN) defines SMEs as enterprises with asset base (excluding land) of between N5 million and N500 million and labour force of 11 and 300 people.

The benefits of funding SMEs have attracted many banks with eye on the future to invest and support SMEs in the interest of the economy.

 

For SMEs to achieve these goals, operators’ easy access to credit must be promoted.

First Bank of Nigeria Limited is one of the banks that is investing and supporting SMEs. Following research by the bank over the years, it identified these seven strategic pillars that are essential to the sustainability and growth of the SMEs.

 

These include access to infrastructure, access to talent, capacity building, policy and regulation, access to resources, access to market as well as access to finance.

The bank has also held its SMEs’ Week in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano and Owerri. The week-long event was rounded off with a live webinar, facilitated by Gbenga Shobo, the bank’s Deputy Managing Director.

 

According to Shobo, “FirstBank has, over the years, been at the forefront of supporting businesses, especially the SMEs, as we recognise that the SMEs are the engine of the economy.

 

We are committed to ensuring that we leave no stone unturned as we connect with them in their continued contribution to national development in terms of the employment opportunities they create as well as their contribution to the nation’s GDP amongst many economic values.

 

“The FirstBank SME Week is driven to promote the Bank’s SME proposition, thereby having SMEs across the country optimally enlightened on how to plug in. We believe this will help SMEs bolster their contribution to the growth and development of the economy.”

 

The 2019 Nigeria banking industry customer experience survey report recently published by KPMG Nigeria showed that in the retail segment, the top two performers have remained the same for the fourth consecutive year.

 

GTBank, Zenith Bank are top-rated bank in the 2019 ranking. Sterling Bank, FirstBank and UBA are the biggest movers in 2019, coming in third, fifth and seventh places.

 

Commitment to fashion and entrepreneurship

 

FirstBank sponsored the Sixth Africa Fashion Week, which held last December in Lagos.

The event themed ‘’Africa Unites’’ was a convergence of fashion entrepreneurs and the public to promote the creativity and innovation of Nigerian and African brands through worldwide visibility, distribution and manufacturing.

 

Dignitaries at the event include wives of the Ekiti, Ogun and Kwara state governors, Mrs Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun and Mrs Folake Abdulrazaq. The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; former Director-General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation,Mrs Omotayo Omotosho; television presenter and model, Idia Aisen; model and beauty influencer, Whitney Madueke were also there. FirstBank was represented by Helen Ogboh, Business Manager, Corporate Banking.

 

Speaking on FirstBank’s sponsorship of the event, the Bank’s Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney, said: “We are pleased to identify with Africa Fashion Week Nigeria as it showcases creativity by African fashion designers to the teeming public, leading players and enthusiasts of African fashion while promoting their contribution to the growth of the fashion industry.

 

“We will continue to drive advocacy for this as it can create jobs that will deepen opportunities for the revival of our textile industry resulting in SMEs’growth along the value chains especially, with the growing demand in the fashion industry.”

 

Recently, the bank promoted the use of local fabrics with a ‘What If’ campaign to commemorate the country’s Independence. It ran across the social media channels, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, focusing on the creativity of sewing local fabrics as a national symbol vis-a-vis our outfits, clothing accessories, household furniture, in line with the bank’s celebratory 125th Anniversary, themed, “Woven into the Fabric of Society”.

Ani-Mumuney said the bank would continue to empower the society, including the support for small businesses and promotion of the growth of the entertainment industry.

 

Also, on the list of fashion sponsorship credentials of the Bank is the Fashion Souk, as well as Street Souk organized in partnership with Eventful Limited. Ani-Mumuney said “Street Souk was designed to encourage the youth to channel their talents to genres as music, arts and fashion. It’s a platform that identifies opportunities, which promote the innovative spirit in youngsters.

 

She noted that Street Souk was tied to the FirstBank’s initiative to empower the society, including small business owners. According to her, the initiative is also tied to the promotion of the entertainment industry.

 

Manager XIIG Glover, a merchant at the Street Souk, Mr Obembe Abiola, said he was happy to be part of last year’s (2019) street trading.

“We are here to showcase what we also have as a brand which is African made and to reach out to people to know about the brand. Last year (in 2018), we were also here and it was a great time out to meet up with new clients, customers and to meet up with other brands and this year is a lot more better than last year. We are large in number, new faces and everything is going on fine,” Abiola said. He commended FirstBank for organising the event aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship.

 

Also, Creative Director, Dmf Designs & Shopwith5k, Adebayo Bankole, a participant, said she was glad to showcase her brand to people. “I have finally found my target audience here, people that are interested in street Souk culture in Nigeria. They are my target audience,” Bankole said.

She stated that sales had been very amazing and that it was worth-while being part of this year’s Street Souk.

 

“I really appreciate the fact that FirstBank is doing this because most banks go for ankara or made- in-Nigeria but this is promoting a different culture in Nigeria. Street trading is not common in Nigeria, the fact that FirstBank is able to support the promotion of street Souk in Nigeria is amazing,” Bankole added.

 

The bank also said it would remain committed to the Federal Government’s diversification drive with the development of agricultural value chain to boost employment.

 

FirstBank’s Chairman, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, stated this at last year’s edition of ‘Food Souk’, an event the Bank convened in partnership with Eventful Limited, an events management firm.

 

Mrs Awosika said the bank would continue to support the agricultural value chain from production to consumption to create opportunities for SMEs in the food sector to create job opportunities. “As you have noticed, we have been doing a chain of Souks with Eventful. It is critical for the economy of the nation that we encourage the SMEs sector across different industries,” she said.

 

According to her, the Food Souk was introduced to diversify the economy through agricultural development. “When we have 200 million people, food is big business because everybody will eat. So, what we are trying to do is in support of the nation’s building. We are seeking to encourage small, medium and big enterprises in different sectors of the economy.

“One is to help create jobs because if we think that 65 per cent of our population is made up of people under 40 years and the highest unemployment rate is within the segment that is between 20 and 35, so you need to create jobs.

“But you will only create jobs when you create entrepreneurs, as we create more businesses you are creating job opportunities,” Mrs Awosika said.

 

She added that the bank’s focused on the growth of the economy with the hope it would benefit from it as a provider of financial services. “As we grow the economy, as we build lives of Nigerians, as we support the government’s investment in the diversification of the economy and help to create jobs through the enterprises we will ultimately benefit,” Mrs Awosika stated.

 

The Chairman said FirstBank, the largest retail bank in the country, would continue to support growth and development of SMEs. “A lot of big businesses of today that grew in Nigeria are businesses we supported from scratch. “We are starting with different generations of new businesses and events like this help you to see the trends. It helps you to see the companies that need nurturing.

 

“It helps you to see the companies that you can support. It also gives you information about how you can best support them and engage them in their terrain to see businesses and understand their feelings to create the kind of product that will support their businesses,” Mrs Awosika said.

 

A food vendor, Ms Ijeoma Ebeneme, the Chief Executive Officer, JEM N Iris, commended FirstBank for putting the event together. Ebeneme said she was at the fair to make profit, meet new clients  as well as create the needed publicity for her brand. Food Souk, formerly known as Fiesta of Flavours, is a food and wine fair, that holds yearly at Harbour Point in Victoria Island, Lagos, since its premier edition in 2015.

 

The fun food and beverage fair hosted by Eventful and sponsored by FirstBank provides an avenue for attendees to experience the entertainment, art and business of food. It showcases the best in local and international cuisine, cutting-edge food technology and cooking techniques, and the best beverages, wines and spirits the world offers. It provides management and training seminars, food demonstrations and performances.

 

Continue Reading

BUSINESS

Calling Start-up African Entrepreneurs: Apply for the 2020 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme

Published

on

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has opened its application portal (www.tefconnect.com) for applications from African entrepreneurs across all African countries, for the 2020 cohort of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme. In 2019, 3,050 African entrepreneurs benefited from the Programme, a number which will meaningfully increase in 2020.

 

The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is open to startup entrepreneurs, with innovative business ideas or businesses that have been in existence for less than 3 years, in any sector, from across Africa. The Programme is the $100 million commitment by African investor and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu to empower 10,000 entrepreneurs in 10 years, with the goal of creating millions of jobs and new revenue on the continent. The programme implements Mr Elumelu’s Africapitalism philosophy, which positions the private sector as the catalyst for African economic transformation, and an investment approach that values the creation of both social and economic wealth.

 

In commemoration of its 10th year anniversary, the Foundation will announce further enhancements to the Programme, providing additional benefits to Africa’s rapidly growing youth demographic. The changes in the 2020 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme emphasise a personalised entrepreneurship journey for every applicant and opening the platform to ensure a higher number of people trained, amplifying the Programme’s impact and reach. In just five years, the Programme has empowered over 9,000 beneficiaries from all 54 African countries, with training, mentorship and seed funding.

 

Speaking at the launch of the 2020 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, said: “The transformation of Africa begins with empowering our young African entrepreneurs. With the recent enhancements made to our Programme and our growing list of partners, the Tony Elumelu Foundation is significantly increasing its impact across the continent. We encourage all startup African entrepreneurs across the 54 African countries to apply for the Programme, as we continue to empower the very best ideas that will create the much needed employment and revenue on the continent”.

 

The multilingual Application Portal is open on TEFConnect.com, the digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs, from January 1 to March 1, 2020.

Continue Reading

BUSINESS

FIRSTBANK PARTNERS WITH AFRICA FASHION WEEK, NIGERIA; PROMOTES GROWTH OF SMALL BUSINESSES

Published

on

First Bank of Nigeria Limited sponsored the sixth edition of the Africa Fashion Week, Nigeria which held on Friday and Saturday, 20 – 21 December 2019 at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. The Africa Fashion Week, Nigeria, is a convergence of fashion entrepreneurs and the general public to promote the creativity and innovation of Nigerian and African brands through worldwide visibility, distribution and manufacturing. The 2019 event was themed ‘Africa Unites’.

The Africa Fashion Week, Nigeria has consistently been recognised internationally due to the unique African styles displayed by entrepreneurs across the dynamic and versatile African fashion landscape. With the growing interest by the public and fashion enthusiasts using fashion as an instrument of sustainability and social change, the event, provided a platform to help raise awareness around the Sickle Cell disorder. The event featured runway shows (comprising designers and runway models with Sickle Cell disorder), Marketplace exhibition and Panel session of Fashion Talks.

AFWN Picture: L-R: L-R: Brands Strategy and Special Projects, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Abimbola Meshinoye; Wife of Ogun State Governor, Bamidele Abiodun; wife of Kwara State Governor, Olufolake Abdulrazaq; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi and the Convener/Founder, Africa Fashion Week Nigeria, Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, at the Africa Fashion Week Nigeria sponsored by FirstBank in Lagos.

Dignitaries at the event include First Ladies of Ekiti, Ogun and Kwara states, Mrs Bisi Adeleye – Fayemi, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun and Mrs Folake Abdulrazaq respectively. The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, former Director-General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Mrs Omotayo Omotosho; popular television presenter and model, Idia Aisen; model and beauty influencer, Whitney Madueke were also in attendance. FirstBank was represented by Helen Ogboh, Business Manager, Corporate Banking.

Leading fashion designers that showcased their wares at the 2-day event were Daviva, Zephyr’s Atelier, Caroline 1942, Ashor by Bumz with exhibitions from Bee Fab, Moon by me, Bolams Aso oke amongst others.

In the course of the event, the Bank showcased the FirstBank Ankara in “The FirstBank Collection” segment at the event where FirstBank staff wore the Bank’s 125th-anniversary fabric and walked the runway.

Speaking on the event, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Folake Ani-Mumuney, said “We are pleased to identify with Africa Fashion Week, Nigeria as it showcases creativity by African fashion designers to the teeming public, leading players and enthusiasts of African fashion whilst promoting their contribution to the growth of the fashion industry.”

“We will continue to drive advocacy for this as it can create jobs that will deepen opportunities for the revival of our textile industry resulting in SME growth along the value chains especially, with the growing demand in the fashion industry.” she concluded.

Only recently, the Bank promoted the use of local fabric with a ‘What If’ campaign to commemorate Nigerian’s Independence. The campaign was ran across the social media channels; Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, to promote the versatility and creativity of sewing local fabrics as a national symbol vis-a-vis our outfits, clothing accessories, household furniture and so forth which is line with the Bank’s celebratory 125th anniversary, themed, “Woven into the Fabric of Society”.

Continue Reading





FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

Trending