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125 Years Anniversary: FirstBank embarks on 125Km ‘Relay Walk’ to greatness

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L- R, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, FirstBank, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney; GMD, FBNHoldings, Mr. UK Eke MFR; Group Chairman, FBN Holdings, Dr. Oba Otudeko CFR; Chairman, FirstBank, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika; and CEO, FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan raising their flags to the next 125 years of FirstBank at the 125th anniversary flag hoisting/press conference of the Bank, held at the FirstBank Head Quarters, Lagos recently. FILE PHOTO

On Saturday, 16 March 2019, Nigeria’s premier financial institution, First Bank of Nigeria Limited and other corporate entities in the FBNHoldings group would collectively have a 125km Relay Walk to celebrate the Bank’s 125 years of unbroken business operations in commemoration of its 125 years anniversary.

Following the flag hoisting ceremony, the anniversary activities curtain raiser event that held on 1 March 2019, the 125km Relay Walk which is to be carried out at locations across Nigeria and other countries where the Bank operates is among the many activities lined-up to celebrate the Bank’s impact and contribution to the growth and development of Nigeria over the years, predating the independence of the West African country with a view to reinforce the collaborative efforts of all institutions of the group, FBNHoldings, as well as building on the heritage for the next 125 years and beyond.

According to Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, the Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, “the 125km Relay Walk is a representation of the collaborative effort of not just FirstBank but all entities in our holding company, FBNHoldings, that have in the last 125 years impacted lives and contributed to the growth and development of our host communities and countries where we do businesses. At FirstBank, we are proud of the strides made across these locations where we operate as without the effort of all staff – past and present – as well as our customers and stakeholders, there would be no FirstBank. The 125km is a mark of our incredible journey of delivering impeccable financial services to our customers as we leave no stone unturned to remain an icon of admiration in today’s financial services industry in Africa.”

Speaking on the significance of the ‘Relay Walk”, Adeduntan explains that The Relay Walk is a collaborative effort to achieve a symbolic 125km. He added “It is also a representation of the FirstBank brand in the last 125 years; our people, the team work, partnership and the collective spirit which has shown that as a team, together we can do and achieve more. It is neither a marathon, nor sprint, but a surefooted, steady walk we have taken in the last 125 years.”
On how the “Relay Walk” would be carried-out and what it means to the brand, Folake Ani-Mumuney, the Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, FirstBank explains “As a Group, we have journeyed through the ages, our footprints spreading far and wide with indelible landmarks of several firsts. The Relay Walk, yet another First, combines a relay with a walk. A relay, symbolic with races connotes the agility of sprint, which can only be achieved through a team’s collective effort while the passing of the baton during a relay connotes effective succession, thus all attributes evident in FirstBank’s attainment of 125 years of sustained profitable growth. Ani-Mumuney explained the Relay Walk would see staff, customers and stakeholders walk at least 1.25km in teams and from different locations to make up the minimum 125km. At the end of the walk in each location, teams will symbolically pass the baton, committing to a cause that will take the Group to the next 125 years. The baton exchange symbolises the strong culture of succession planning of the Group in the last 125 years, a trait that highlights the dynamic and transformational nature of the brand as well as the essence of future proofing through a deliberate planning of transitions from one generational to another. The baton exchange is a commitment by the current leadership to uphold this spirit of foresight and deliberate planning of taking the brand to greater heights through the next 125 years.
The 125km Relay Walk, to be led by Dr. Adeduntan will terminate at the Bank’s corporate Head Office in Marina where staff, customers and other stakeholders will converge to witness the symbolic baton hand over and a commitment to the next 125 years.

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BUSINESS

#SheVentures: 4 reasons every Nigerian business woman should consider this new proposition

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Reports show that women make up 49% of Nigeria’s adult population. However, only about 42% of them have access to formal financial services. Moreover, 42.7% of Nigerian women are business owners out of which only an estimated 2% have access to capital and loans to grow their businesses. It is also reported that around 7 million businesses will be set-up by Nigerian women in the year 2021 with the potential to create 8.9 million jobs and unlock billions in revenue for the country.

On Thursday, March 7th, 2019 at an impressive ceremony in Lagos, leading Nigerian financial institution First City Monument Bank (FCMB) unveiled #SheVentures, its brand-new proposition to support the growth of businesses owned or managed by women. The event, which was part of the Bank’s activities to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day with the theme “Balance for Better” provided the right opportunity to highlight how FCMB is helping women close the gaps in the world of business.

If you are a woman who runs a business in Nigeria, here are 4 reasons you should seriously consider FCMB’s #SheVentures proposition:

  1. Mentorship: Through a network of qualified mentors carefully selected by FCMB, #SheVentures offers Nigerian businesswomen access to guidance, motivation, emotional support, and role modeling for a successful career.
  2. Capacity building and training: The Bank has also partnered with consultants in various fields of business to provide key professional services at discounted rates to its women in business customers. Not forgetting exclusive business training events which FCMB either directly organizes or in partnership with other leading organizations.
  3. Access to loans at zero (yes, zero!) or competitive interest rates: Through its flagship zero percent loan product, FCMB offers short-term loans to female customers who need quick access to funds. At the #SheVentures launch event alone, about 40 female SMEs were awarded loans of between N500,000 to N5,000,000 at zero percent interest.  In addition, there are other loans such as the FCMB BOI Gender Loan, which comes at 15% interest.
  4. Supporting women in business are of strategic importance to FCMB: At the launch of #SheVentures, Adam Nuru, said the Bank strongly believes in the power of entrepreneurship. He added that the contribution of women to economic development cannot be understated, as over 30% of businesses owned globally are either female owned or managed. On her part, FCMB’s Executive Director, Business Development, Bukola Smith, said ‘’the #SheVentures proposition is as much a statement of substance as it is one of intent. We are passionate about supporting women in business. The #SheVentures offerings are tailored to offer sustainable benefits to women-owned SMEs and support them to increase their productivity and contributions in the areas of job and wealth creation, poverty reduction, empowerment and the overall development of Nigeria.”

So, now you know – FCMB is providing the right support to help the Nigerian businesswoman thrive in all #SheVentures to do!

For more information about #SheVentures, please click https://on.fcmb.com/SheVentures-10.

(P.S. – a few pictures from the launch of FCMB #SheVentures are shown below.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BUSINESS

Local bond market attracts $6b, says CBN

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THE successful conduct of the general elections is rubbing off positively on investments, with the inflow of over $6 billion into the local bond market.

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele described the foreign capital inflows to the bond market as an indication of the continued investors’ confidence in the strength of the economy.

The CBN boss, who spoke yesterday at the BusinessDay Post-Election Economic Agenda Conference in Lagos, also set a post-election agenda for the nation’s monetary policy. The current policy stance of the bank is expected to continue while inflation is estimated to rise to 12 per cent and moderate thereafter.

Emefiele said the Nigeria bond market remains one of the most attractive investment destinations – In Bloomberg’s Emerging-Market Local-Currency Government Bonds index, which covers major emerging markets, including Nigeria, South Africa and Argentina.

He said Nigeria’s bond continue to top the chart due to the stability of the Investors’ & Exporters’ Forex rate and the yields being high by emerging-market standards.

Investors, Emefiele said, are sure that they can exit their positions if they want, which has been crucial in driving other investors into the market.

Emefiele hinged the monetary policy stance of the bank on rising inflation expectations.

He, however, noted that the bank would adjust the policy rate in line with unfolding conditions and outlooks. Just as in the previous year, he said the Bank would continue in its drive to ensure that the policy interest rate is set to balance the objectives of price stability with output stabilisation.

The CBN boss also explained that since the establishment of the I&E Window in April 2017, the country has recorded about $35 billion in autonomous inflows through the window alone.

He said: “As a result, exchange rate pressures eased considerably across all markets as the rates converged to about N360/$ and the distortive premium almost eliminated. At the Bureau De Change (BDC) segment, we saw a significant appreciation of the naira from over N525/$ in February 2017 to about N360/$ today. Rates at the I&E window also appreciated from nearly N382/$ in May 2017 to just over N360/$.”

On the exchange rate policy, he said the bank, despite the expected pressures from the volatility in the crude oil markets, will maintain its stable exchange rate over the next year.

“Gross stability is projected in the foreign exchange market, given increased oil production and contained import bill”, he said.

Emefiele expressed optimism that the country’s Balance of Payments would remain positive in the short-term, adding that the current account balance could improve further if oil prices continued to recover. He assured that this would be “supported by improved non-oil performance as diversification efforts begin to yield results to reduce undue imports.”

Warning that the issues that led to the economic crisis between 2015 and 2017 remained visible, Emefiele stressed the need to significantly increase the country’s policy buffers, including fiscal measure, to increase its external reserve. He also reiterated the need to diversify the revenue structure of the Federal Government, in order to reduce dependence on direct proceeds from the sale of crude oil.

He further advised that cheap financing be provided to boost local production of priority goods in critical sectors of the economy in order to reduce reliance on foreign imports.

He also used the platform to highlight the efforts made by the CBN in the past five years in monetary policy and development finance, disclosed that the weakening of the Naira impacted the balance sheets of domestic banks.

However, he said the bank took some measures such as monitoring the financial position and performance of supervised institutions and the assessment of the risk profile and governance management practices of banks, to guarantee financial stability.

He listed other efforts carried out by the Bank to ensure financial system stability and the promotion of sustainable economic development to include the establishment of the investors and exporters’ window; conservation of foreign exchange through the restriction of access to foreign exchange on 43 items; and increased lending to the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

The governor, while soliciting continued support for the policy measures that restrict import of items that could be produced in Nigeria as well as increased penalty for smuggling of restricted items in Nigeria, expressed optimism that the Nigerian economy in post-May 2019 will witness growth and reduced unemployment.

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BUSINESS

PHOTO NEWS: Keystone Bank visits State of Osun government

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(L-R) Regional Bank Head, Keystone Bank Limited, Mr. Olaniran Olayinka; the Deputy Governor, State of Osun, Chief Benedict Alabi; and Divisional Head, West, Keystone Bank Limited, Mr Ademola Adeyemi; during a courtesy visit by the management of Keystone Bank to the State of Osun Deputy Governor in his office at Osogbo, on Wednesday.
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