This yearâ€™sÂ Access Bank Polo Day, held at the prestigious Guards Polo Club,Windsor, United KingdomÂ was one of the prominent initiatives sponsored by The Access Bank UK, aÂ wholy-owned subsidiary of Access Bank PlcÂ in its drive to aidÂ educational and social developmentÂ in the communities the bank serves.Â
Over $2.2m (N800 million) was raised in pledges to build new school classrooms that willÂ provide continuous education for an estimated under privileged and displaced children in the northern part of Nigeria over the next 5 years.Â
An auction of contemporary African Art byÂ BonhamsÂ alsoÂ raised over $30,000 that will go towards classroomsÂ and student equipment.
Access Bank UKÂ ChiefÂ ExecutiveÂ Officer andÂ ManagingÂ Director, Jamie Simmonds said, â€œthe way in which we balance our economic, environmental and social impact while continuing to grow our business and enhance our reputation is an area of key importance forÂ us.â€Â
â€œThis year we have grown our balance sheet by 26 percent and increased year on year profits by 76 per centâ€ Our achievements owe much to the strong partnership we have with our parent bankâ€. â€œOur joint support of this new decade of the ACCESS Bank Group\UNICEF Charity Shield with Fifth Chukker is evidence of the social and economic value of that partnership,â€Â he added.Â Â
HerbertÂ Wigwe, Group Managing Director of Access Bank PLC and Chairman of The Access Bank UK Ltd, says â€œIn a year that marks the end of itsâ€™ 9thÂ full year of trading the Bank has gone from strength to strength despite the long-lasting worldwide financial and economic challenges that have followed on from the global crisis of 2008.â€Â
According to him,Â â€œOur continuing support for the Fifth Chukker UNICEF initiative is predicated on our view ofÂ our role as a change agent in Nigeria and Africa that can help institute socio-economic development through responsible business practice, social initiatives and environmental consideration.â€ Â â€œWe continue to look for ways through which more resources can be pooled towards supporting the children. We are part of the community and as such support its wellbeing.â€
Since the UNICEF/Access BankÂ initiative was started in 2006 it has seen the rebuilding of two schools in Kaduna and more than 12,500 students sustained in continuous education. At the same time new school blocks and a computer literacy building all in a more secure and friendly school environment have been developed. The communities surrounding the schools are being supported with bore-holes forÂ water andÂ sewing and grinding machines to secure employment and stimulate economic and social development.
So far inÂ collaboration with Fifth ChukkerÂ Polo and Country Resort Access Bank has seen more than N100million raised for underprivileged children in Northern Nigeria.Â
According toÂ UNICEF partnerships officerÂ â€œthere are Nigerian children out of school many of them in the North and education has the power to transform societyâ€. UNICEF looks forward to expanding the partnership with Access Bank to advocate the realisation of childrenâ€™s rightsâ€