The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe has been adjudged the ‘Bank CEO of the Year’ in the BusinessDay Banking Awards. At the award ceremony that took place in Lagos at the weekend, Access Bank also emerged as the ‘Bank of the Year.’
Also, the Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia also won the ‘Outstanding Achievement in Banking’ award.
Speaking after the receiving the awards, Wigwe said he felt extremely privileged to be leading the financial institution.
“I believe all what has been achieved can be attributed to all Access Bank people. People who know our history would begin to appreciate how happy I am today. In 2002, nobody gave us a chance; we were a tiny bank. Today, we are easily one of the top three banks in this country. So, I would like to thank God first, all Access Bank customers and all staffs of the bank.
“Again, I keep saying you can never do it alone. Anybody who thinks he is running a big institution that spans several countries and thinks he is the only one doing it must be joking,” he said.
According to him, at a time when the industry is going through deep turbulence, institutions need all the skills posssible to manage their resources, whether it is banking, manufacturing or whatever.
“This award can only create greater impetus, not just for me but for the entire banking industry for all of us to come together and to continue to work as one to ensure that our great country is taken to a much greater height,” he added.
Other banks that clinched various awards included the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, which was honoured as the ‘Best Bank in Support of Agriculture,’ while the award of the ‘Best Bank in CSR’ was won by FirstBank Nigeria Limited. Similarly, while the award of ‘Best Bank in Support to the Manufacturing Sector’ went to Zenith Bank Plc; the ‘Most Improved Bank in Retail Banking’ to Union Bank of Nigeria Plc; ‘Best Bank in Corporate Bank’ award went to Zenith Bank; and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) won the award of the ‘Best Bank in SME Banking.’
In the same vein, the ‘Most Customer Friendly Bank’ award was received by FirstBank, while the ‘Most Innovative Product of the Year’ award went to Diamond Bank. Rand Merchant Bank was honoured with the ‘Deal of the Year’ award while the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Umaru Ibrahim, was conferred with the ‘Leadership Award for Services to Depositors and the Banking Industry.’