This year’s Access Bank Polo Day, held at the prestigious Guards Polo Club,Windsor, United Kingdom was one of the prominent initiatives sponsored by The Access Bank UK, a wholy-owned subsidiary of Access Bank Plc in its drive to aid educational and social development in the communities the bank serves. 

Over $2.2m (N800 million) was raised in pledges to build new school classrooms that will provide continuous education for an estimated under privileged and displaced children in the northern part of Nigeria over the next 5 years. 

An auction of contemporary African Art by Bonhams also raised over $30,000 that will go towards classrooms and student equipment.

Access Bank UK Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Jamie Simmonds said, “the 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 for us.” 

“This year we have grown our balance sheet by 26 percent and increased year on year profits by 76 per cent” Our achievements owe much to the strong partnership we have with our parent bank”. “Our 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, he added.  

Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director of Access Bank PLC and Chairman of The Access Bank UK Ltd, says “In a year that marks the end of its’ 9th 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.” 

According to him, “Our continuing support for the Fifth Chukker UNICEF initiative is predicated on our view of 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.”  “We 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.”

Since the UNICEF/Access Bank 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 for water and sewing and grinding machines to secure employment and stimulate economic and social development.

So far in collaboration with Fifth Chukker Polo and Country Resort Access Bank has seen more than N100million raised for underprivileged children in Northern Nigeria. 

According to UNICEF partnerships officer “there are Nigerian children out of school many of them in the North and education has the power to transform society”. UNICEF looks forward to expanding the partnership with Access Bank to advocate the realisation of children’s rights”