By Emmanuel Uffot
In furtherance of its enormous Corporate Social Responsibility, (CSR) First Bank of Nigeria, FBN, Plc has sponsored the surgery of 50 Vesico Virginal Fistula ,VVF patients and supported 100 that had already been treated of the ailment with empowerment packages in Kano State.
Abdullahi Ibrahim, Executive Director, First Bank, Public Sector, of FBN, disclosed this in Kano during the bank’s 5th edition of its Corporate Social Responsibility week. The gesture Ibrahim revealed was part of the bank’s activities in the area of the CSR week
“As part of activities marking our social responsibility week, we decided to sponsor the surgery for 50 VVF patients. After undergoing surgery, we will also empower them to enable them start businesses to support themselves and their families. We are also supporting additional 100 women who were already treated with the same kind of resources”.
Commenting on the challenges faced by patients of the dreaded ailment,Ibrahim said the Obstetric Fistula is associated with psychological, social and economic challenges, including stigma, discrete, abandonment and neglect hence the need for philanthropists, NGOs, governments and corporate bodies come to their aid. “That is why there is need for rehabilitation and reintegration based on patient’s needs.
That is why philanthropists, well –to-do individuals, NGOs, corporate organisations join hands with government to support the affected patients”.The FBN, Executive Director said each of the patients would be given portable pasta making machine, a bag of flour, vegetable oil and soya beans.
In his remarks, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, represented by the Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zahra’u Umar, thanked the bank for the gesture. He said that the gesture would go a long way in helping those survivors to reclaim their lives and return to their communities with confidence.
The governor also called on other stakeholders to partner with the state in various aspects of social developmenOne of the beneficiaries, Fatima Yusuf, lauded the bank for empowering them and assured to make the best use of the items given to them.
VVF which is common in the Northern part of Nigeria due to the preponderance of child marriage which has become the norm there. The ailment affect the vagina of the patient during the course of child birth. And most of the patients fall between the age bracket of 14 to 16 in most cases and adults that have difficult delivery that leads to tear in the vagina.
Last week, the bank held the fifth edition Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CRS) Week which ran from Monday August 22 to Friday August 27.
Prior to the commencement of the event, which is in line with the bank’s commitment to impacting the lives of individuals in its host’s communities across seven countries, the bank’s Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Mrs Folake Ani-Mumuney, had unveil details and programme of the annual event which she stated is set aside to offer employees opportunities to give their time and resources to defined causes in line with the bank’s CRS strategic approach.
The CSR is an innovative venture of the bank which dedicate a week for employees to give their time and resources to defined causes in line with the bank’s CRS strategic approach.
“The week’s activities are an aspect of the bank’s Employee Giving and Volunteering Programme, which was instituted to encourage employees to give back to the community as well as inculcate in them the integral corporate culture of giving”.
She had explained that the maiden edition of the bank’s CRS week which was held in 2017 with focus on three key initiatives and activities had recorded more successes in subsequent years
Highlight of the CRS week 2022 edition included giving/ support, visits to orphanages/less privileged homes/IDPs, career counselling day, women economic empowerment, unveiling of Staff Promoting Acts of Random Kindness ,SPARK, initiative.
The five-day event was commemorated across business communities United Kingdom, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal where the Nigeria’s pioneer financial institution is operating.
The bank’s spokesperson had explained the concept of SPARK App as
“As a sensational application designed to have individuals abreast with the act of kindness through various kindness-based quotes and inspirational phrases that will be displayed on one’s phone screen, especially when the phone is idle.
“Kind Comments Day is an initiative that focuses on inspiring and encouraging everyone to be deliberate with the use of kind words in relating or interacting with anyone.
“In addition, with Women Empowerment, the bank will support VVF patients in need of surgical operations and also empower them with vocational skills as they integrate back into the society,” it said.It added that the SPARK Schools Engagement would be implemented through the national competition of JAN SPARK School Integration, aimed at rewarding the various participating students.
Speaking on this year’s edition of the First Bank CRS week, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, FirstBank, Adesola Adeduntan, said that the CRS Week provides the bank opportunity to touch more lives.The CRS Week is another opportunity to strengthen our commitment and extend our reach beyond the communities where we operate in Nigeria and across our subsidiaries.“Over time, our goal has stayed the same, to create platforms through which our positive impact is felt. For us in the First Bank Group, beyond saying that we care, we take a step further and show it”.
He said through the years of commemorating its annual CRS Week, First Bank had impacted lives across its host communities in Nigeria, the United Kingdom and its SSA subsidiaries.Adeduntan enumerated the positive impacts of the CRS week of the bank since its inception five years ago with the partnership with the Lagos State Government which has resulted in touching the lives of over 20,000 underprivileged individuals including widows, orphans and children with disabilities.
The bank has over the years played a prominent role as one the leading banks institutionalising corporate social responsibilities as one of its cardinal operation agenda to give back to the society.
The maiden edition of the event took place in September 25-29, 2017 with the theme ‘Promoting Kindness; Putting You First’. That edition had witnessed the culmination and consolidation of the Bank’s interventions in social responsibility, promoting random acts of kinds across communities in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria and First Bank subsidiaries in United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa.
The first edition of the CR&S Week provided opportunity for First Bank staff to give their time and resources to promote acts of random kindness within their communities and contribute to the welfare and well-being of others through giving and visits to orphanages/homes of the less fortunate and internally displaced people,IDPs.
FBN, is Nigeria’s premier and most valuable banking brand, and largest financial services institution by total assets and gross earnings. With more than 12 million customer accounts, First Bank has over 750 branches providing a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services. The Bank has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBN in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as its Representative Offices in Johannesburg, Beijing and Abu Dhabi.
Since its establishment in 1894, First Bank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimized risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, First Bank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.
Over the years, FirstBank has received several awards like the “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row – 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 – by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; and “Most Innovative Bank in Africa” in the EMEA Finance African Banking Awards 2014. Recently, for the fifth consecutive time, the Bank clinched the “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” award by The Asian Banker.
First Bank as a pioneer bank is a key leader in Corporate Social Responsibility in the industry in Nigeria.