Nigeria’s Biggest Bank Boosts Social Investments through Corporate Citizenship

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L-R: Chief Eric Umeofia, President & CEO, Erisco Food Ltd; Tara Fela-Durotoye, Founder & CEO, House of Tara; Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, FirstBank; Gbenga Shobo, Deputy Managing Director, FirstBank; and Abdulahmed Mustapha, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State office of Overseas Affairs & Investment at the SME Conference organised by the FirstBank Sustainability Centre.

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s Most Valuable Bank Brand, has distinguished itself through its various interventions in its Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability programme. The Bank has defined its approach to doing business responsibly as Corporate Citizenship and this involves positively impacting the lives of key stakeholders and the society at large. This includes deliberate efforts to enable a truly rewarding career for its employees; providing value-added, innovative and sustainable products and services for customers; minimizing environmental impact as well as empowering the communities in which it operates.

The Bank has committed to deliver social investments that will positively impact on the society through wholesome partnerships, encouraging diversity and inclusion whilst wearing the toga of integrity and accountability. Driven by its brand promise ‘You First’, FirstBank is determined to constantly build broader, deeper and sustainable symbiotic relationships to deliver long-term value to shareholders and continuously put stakeholders at the centre of its business.

FirstBank partnered with the Lagos Business School to establish the FirstBank Sustainability Centre to contribute to knowledge in the sustainability driven sector. The centre has hosted the International Sustainability Conference to stimulate sustainability principles in business management; Sustainability Workshops for NGOs to create an enabling platform for NGOs in recognition of their emerging roles in contemporary society; and workshops for women-led SMEs to equip women for enterprise development with sustainable growth strategies.

With an effective Employee Giving and Volunteering Scheme, staff members dedicate their time, knowledge and experience to address development needs and challenges of the community in which they live and work. Some initiatives staff have participated in include annual Down Syndrome Inter House Sports Competition by taking part in some of the sporting activities alongside the children to make them feel loved and appreciated; worldwide commemoration of #GivingTuesday Initiative where gift items were donated to the children in care homes; and the Bank’s FutureFirst programme, which staff volunteer to inculcate knowledge of financial principles and ideals as well as career counseling for youths.

To drive responsible lending and investing, the Bank acknowledges the relevance to the investor of the environmental, social and governance factors, and of the long term health and stability of the market as a whole. Therefore, the Bank implemented an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) management system to conduct due diligence on potential transactions and guide the monitoring of business performance. In a statement by Folake Ani-Mumuney, FirstBank’s Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, the Bank would continue to drive its business ethically, integrating the environmental, social, and governance criteria to enhance the quality of life of its stakeholders.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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