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THE VOICE NIGERIA: FIRSTBANK IMPRINTS IN ENTERTAINMENT, YOUTHS DEVELOPMENT

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By Israel Bolaji-Gbadamosi

One of the key metrics that well defines a truly 21st century brand beyond profit making is its ability to connect with customers and stakeholders as a complete enabler, touching on vital aspects of their lives, creating exciting memories and enabling them to access more enjoyable and convenient lifestyle, in shopping, studying, working, traveling, family living, entertainment and aspirations.

Its ability to also give back to the community through tangible corporate social investment programs that significantly translate to improved living and not just mere formality and publicity stunts is also pertinent.

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is giving a good account of itself in this regard not only as a truly financial powerhouse but also as a life enabler, helping Nigerians live better and achieve their dreams.

In retrospect, banking, decades ago, was essentially about providing financial services and products to merely aid customers’ financial transactions. However, the smart ones are indeed changing the game. Not only is the envelope being pushed to ensure that the unbanked are banked through financial inclusion offers even to the remotest villages, FirstBank has taken banking to another level. Backed by superior technology firepower and capacity, it is assisting not only adults but also Nigerian youths to live better and fulfil their dreams.

The Nigerian nation and the most populous black nation of the world indeed has a youths bulge as observed by many experts with a growing army of young and vibrant people below 25 years of age constituting over 60% of its 200million population! While an unrelenting rate of unemployment, weak economy, soaring inflation and despair appear to dominate the national mentality, many youths are finding solace in entertainment, breaking the ceiling with their creative ingenuity, shunning out award winning hits and in fact making global headlines in music and other entertainment offshoots like movies, comedy skits and contemporary dance.

Nigeria’s 29 year old singer, Damini Ogulu popularly called Burna Boy in March shocked the world winning the world’s most coveted Grammy Award in the Best World Music category during the 63rd annual edition in Los Angeles Atlanta while another 30 year old Nigerian artiste, Ayo Balogun aka Wizkid was also a co-winner in the Best Music Video category for Beyonce’s Brown Skin Girl. These young Nigerian global music icons were raised and honed their skills in the suburbs of Nigeria through home grown competitions and platforms.

Music reality shows have also unveiled and nurtured music and entertainment talents like Timi Dakolo, Iyanya, Praise, Omawumi and other A-list musicians in Nigeria. This is why FirstBank’s intervention and sponsorship of a music and youths talents harnessing platform like The Voice Nigeria is strategic and instructive, and quite capable of helping to harness and nurture music and entertainment talents into celebrated musicians, make global stars of Nigerian youths, and truly help them achieve their dreams. Obviously, Firstbank has been a prominent force visibly empowering talents and the nation, and without the much-needed lifeline, many young talents would be taking to crime or other vices.

For over 127 years, the premier bank has been at the forefront of nation building; supporting through resourceful partnerships to build the Nigerian creative industry value chain which contributed 2.3 per cent (N239 billion) to Nigeria’s GDP in 2016 (NBS).

The bank’s support for the Voice Nigeria is also a demonstration of its commitment to contributing to the projected revenue of US$86m by 2021 from the Nigeria’s music industry aimed at promoting a diversified economy in line with the Federal Government’s diversification policy.

The bank assured that it has given voice to Nigerians for the past 127 years, and will continue to give voice to Nigerians by creating employment, economic empowerment in the country through its products, services and initiatives and it remains committed to strengthening the creative industry which is fast growing into a multibillion-dollar business, with potential to be a leading contributor to Nigeria’s GDP in the near future.

In fact, FirstBank has the network; reach and digital capability to enable the Voice. With its agent banking network across the nooks and crannies in country, it is helping in the search for the talent that will become a true inspiration to all.

True to the name, the Voice Nigeria has lived up to its promise, as it offers exciting and relaxing entertainment to families, music lovers, and other entertainment loving Nigerians who look forward to fresh seasons and episode of the well-crafted music program.

Now in its season 3, the Reality TV show has been a masterpiece in the last six episodes of the current season as viewers are serenaded by several awesome performances and display of raw talents on the show’s blind auditions which ended on Saturday, May 1. The episode ended with raging emotions, exhilarating sensations and blistering anticipation as the four judges – Falz The Bad Guy, Waje, Yemi Alade and Dare Art Alade had one final opportunity to forge their winning team.

So far, the coaches, hosts, producers and amazing talents have been a great delight to watch. They have been awesome with their good-natured banters, hilarious drama, top-notch fashion, electrifying opening performances, talent courting speeches, and chair turning and bell thumping spectacle. The optics is exciting! The expectation on the show has been so intense; you could cut with a butter knife. The coaches’ approach at winning talents over to their team has been fun and a fine blend.

There were no holds barred, as the judges were very warm, animated, upbeat, inspiring and full of energy. They were definitely not a team of avuncular examiners waiting to pass judgments. They brought much gusto and effect to the big stage! While Falz threw up his magical comic card severally, Dare maintained the cool dude posture while Yemi and Waje both brought on the alluring feminine appeal with Waje sometimes speaking in Igbo to convince a talent. In all, they fared well, each getting a fair share of talents to mentor and their combination depicted a perfect combo.

The talents on their part have not disappointed viewers. They came in different shades across both genders, with varying voice textures, mix and pitches – smooth, silky, velvet, shrill, husky, coarse or simply rough. And to the best of their abilities, they did justice to many songs, including some classic tunes and old hits. The creative fusion of multiple genres of music by some smart talents who beautifully delivered unique blend of music made good impressions which won the judges hearts. The awful looks on the faces of those who the judges would simply not behold, having failed to captivate their attention with the voice. The uncontrollable joy of those who got the bell ring and standing ovation and the incredible looks on their loved ones who came to show support. Not forgetting the jazzy presence and reassurances from the co-hosts including Toke Makinwa and Nancy Ikime which also complimented the soothing potpourri.

Interestingly, FirstBank made some smart moves on the show, with the bold inscription of “This is the moment you have been waiting for, Time to put You First”, clearly displayed at the entry of the contestant for the stage performance. This reinforces the bank’s thrust as an inspiration to motivate the talents and youths at large to excellence. It has also promised viewers mouth-watering prizes just by watching the show regularly and following updates on FirstBank verified social media handles.

Now that the Blind auditions stage has come to an end, it is game on! The next phase of the show is the highly anticipated Knockout Stage which starts on May 8. In this stage, the coaches will select the most outstanding talents to proceed to the battles. In this stage, there is so much to come and fans will certainly not be ready for all that is in store.

More than ever, the show’s fans are hopeful that the knockout stage will even be more entertaining but that will certainly not be a challenge with the dexterity of the handlers so far.

With all that has been seen so far, it is difficult to believe that this is only the beginning; it is certain that there is so much more to come.

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FIRSTBANK BAGS A HAT TRICK OF AWARDS AT THE GLOBAL BANKING AND FINANCE AWARDS 2021

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider, has been awarded the 2021 ‘’Retail Banking CEO of the Year Nigeria’’, ‘’Most innovative Retail Banking App Nigeria’’ and ‘’Best CSR Bank Nigeria’’ awards by Global Banking and Finance magazine.

The respective awards conferred on the Bank are in recognition of the indelible roles it plays in deepening financial inclusion in the country; advancing the digital banking eco-system as well as impacting people in its host communities with technology to make learning available to individuals of all ages, amongst many others.

The Global Banking and Finance Awards reflect the innovation, achievement, strategy, progressive and inspirational changes taking place within the Global Financial community. The awards were created to recognize companies of all sizes which are prominent areas of expertise and excellence within the financial world.

With its over 750 branches and 100,000 Firstmonie Agent banking network spread across the nook and cranny of the country, FirstBank’s robust retail banking framework has been at the forefront of bridging the financial exclusion gap, thereby empowering Nigerians to carry out their financial and business-driven activities in contributing to national growth and development.

Also, in order to put customers ahead in enjoying state of the art digital banking services, the Bank’s industry-leading banking application, FirstMobile, is configured with modern banking functionalities which are regularly upgraded and designed with self-service features to ease the navigation capability and proficiency of customers to carry out their respective transactions with no hassles.

The smart banking application is also embedded with a card protection service for customers to enable and disable cards on channels, account switch off as well as second-factor authentication and device registration. With the upgraded FirstMobile, customers can remotely initiate the request for a new debit card as well as the replacement of a lost or damaged one.

Woven into the fabric of society for over 127 years, overcoming challenges and remaining a dominant player in Nigeria’s financial services landscape, FirstBank has been partnering and supporting various sustainable activities towards the continued growth of its host communities and the nation at large.

As a responsible corporate organisation committed to supporting all its stakeholders in the most sustainable manner possible, the bank partnered with various state governments through the private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) intervention to promote the readiness and efficiency of health care professionals and other compatriots at the forefront of fighting the pandemic.

The Bank also forged a formidable partnership with the Lagos State government, Robert & John, IBM and Curious Learning amongst others to promote e-learning of school children that were affected by lockdown at the height of the pandemic. The initiative is still enjoyed by thousands of individuals, irrespective of age.

Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, the CEO of FirstBank commenting on the awards said ‘’we are proud to be recognized with these awards, which speak to the investments we have made over the past years in bolstering our electronic platforms for our customers; enhancing financial inclusion through agent banking as well as empowering our communities in the education space especially by bridging the digital divide through e-learning initiative.

These awards are dedicated to all our customers, as the trust they reposed in us being their bank of first choice in meeting their business and financial needs has been instrumental to the success we have achieved in our existence of over 127 years. We remain committed to putting You, our customers First as we contribute to the growth and development of our host communities” he concluded.

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10 Customers set to Become Millionaires in UBA Savings Promo

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Pan African Financial Institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has announced that 10 of its  loyal customers will get a chance to win N1,000,000 each, in the ongoing UBA Savings Promo which is scheduled to hold on to May 7, 2021 at the bank’s corporate head office, in Lagos.

 

This unique promo intends to appreciate loyal customers of the bank, who have stayed with the bank over the years, and will also offer fresh opportunities for potential and intending customers to join the growing number of UBA millionaires who have in the past benefitted from the ongoing Promo.

 

To qualify for the draws, new and existing customers of the bank are expected to save N10,000 monthly or N30,000 at once for 3 months; before each draw date. Savings account holders eligible for this draw include Target, Bumper, Next Gen, Savings, Teens & Kiddies).

 

Some past winners who cut across all regions of the country and have previously benefitted from the promo include; Nnadumije, Ebube Dawn; Onwochei Christiana Okwukwe; Eze Mathias Nnaji; Christian N Orie; Uka, Okwudiri; Okata Stephen Uche; Okafor Onyinye Esther; Nwanekezi Chimezie Jude; Ayomide V Yahaya and Olanegan, Oyetunde Keji.

Others are Emmanuel Onu Chidozie; Mohammed Fatima; Aminu, Mustapha; James Nanre; Pahinti Albert; Emmanuel O Adeniji; Jaki Movihinze Mercy; Saminu Muritala Mohammed; Ezeh Raphael Uballa; Uchenna Iheji. Already the winners have claimed their cash prizes and are currently spreading the news so others can take advantage of this once in a life time opportunity.

Speaking ahead of the forthcoming draw, UBA’s Head, Personal Banking, Ogechi Altraide,  said that without a doubt, UBA’s passion for the growth and overall success of its customers cannot be overemphasized, adding that this has consistently been proven in numerous ways. She explained that the bank has consistently invested in cutting edge technology to improve its service delivery and its overall aim of delighting customers.

She said, “With customer-centric promos like the UBA Savings Promo, we have created an ever increasing list of millionaires who continue to join the UBA customer millionaire club. For this edition of the promo, we decided to pick the month of May, which is the month that workers are celebrated across the world for their efforts at contributing to the growth of the economy. We know that this promo will put lasting smiles on the faces of our customers and will also assure them that UBA truly values them’” Altraide said.

UBA’s Head, SME Banking, Sampson Aneke, spoke of UBA’s continuous commitment to give back to its customers especially during these challenging economic periods, where people need all the support they can get to make life more meaningful.

“With this in mind we decided to prioritise them in as we always do at UBA, by giving them plenty to cheer about and that is the reason for the Promo. I have been privileged to visit some of the customers who won in January, and we were more than fulfilled to see happiness and gratitude on the faces of the lucky ones when their cash prizes were presented to them. That feeling is special. So I enjoin those who are yet to join the winning team, to do so. You never can tell, the next big millionaire could be you,” Aneke said.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-one million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touch points, in 20 African countries. With presence in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail; commercial and corporate banking; innovative cross-border payments and remittances; trade finance and ancillary banking services.

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UBA Wins ‘Bank of the Year’ at Independent Newspapers Awards

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Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc added to its growing list of laurels at the Independent Newspaper Awards, winning the Bank of the Year.

The bank was announced winner of the coveted awards at a glamorous event which was well-attended by the top echelon of the financial sector including Bank CEOs, Captains of Industries and Senior financial executives. The event was held at the prestigious Eko Hotel and Suites on Saturday, May 1, 2021.

UBA’s Directorate Head, Lagos Island, Uzoechina Molokwu who represented Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Liadi Ayoku, received the award on behalf of the bank.

Commenting on the award, UBA’s Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Liadi Ayoku who expressed his delight on the recognition stated:  ‘These awards mark another milestone for the UBA Group and is a testament of the diligent execution of the bank’s strategic initiatives on customer service. For us, being recognised as Bank of the Year complements positive feedback from customers and is a recognition of our improving efficiencies, service quality and innovation.

Continuing, he said, “I therefore dedicate this award to our growing loyal corporate and retail customers, who are our essence. Given our heritage and commitment to Africa’s development, we continue to impact lives through our services as well as our financial support to individuals, businesses and government.”

Ayoku pointed out that the pan-African bank remains focused on its goal of democratising game  banking in Africa, leveraging on new technologies and emphasised its determination to change the narrative of financial services on the continent.

While presenting the awards to the bank, the Editor, Independent Newspapers, Don Okere, noted that UBA has excelled in the key areas of prioritising customers, which, according to him, has earned the bank the highly coveted laurel.

He explained that the bank stood out in prioritising customers and improving its technological offerings to accommodate the growing needs of its customers.

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