Transforming Lives through CSR Interventions

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Sunday Ehigiator reports that Get Alert in Millions, one of the CSR projects of Fidelity Bank, has added value to many lives by meeting the needs of some indigent Nigerians

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a broad term used to describe a company’s efforts to improve society in one way or the other. No matter the measures used to carry out the CSR efforts, which can range from donating money to nonprofits to implementing environmentally-friendly policies in the workplace, CSR is undeniably important for companies, nonprofits, and employees alike.

Accordingly, CSR strategies encourage the company to make a positive impact on the environment and stakeholders including consumers, employees, investors, communities, and others. In other words, CSR is titled to aid an organisation’s mission as well as serve as a guide to what the company represents for its consumers. It also aims to ensure that companies conduct their business in a way that is ethical.

This means taking account of their social, economic and environmental impact, and consideration of human rights. It can involve a range of activities such as: Working in partnership with local communities, socially responsible investment (SRI), developing relationships with employees and customers, as well as environmental protection and sustainability.

For Fidelity Bank, their CSR projects are being channeled through the Get Alert In Millions (GAIM). Already in season three, the GAIM strives to further drive a national savings culture in Nigeria. At the launch of the season three promo last year, the MD/CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, said customer service delivery was key to the financial institution. He also disclosed that Fidelity Bank was undertaking a transformation plan, through its digital strategy that will move it to a digital-led era.

Essentially, an estimated N110m has been earmarked for the promo and the draws will be held across the six geo-political zones. Okonkwo said the season three promo of the ‘Get Alert in Millions Promo’ was the eighth promo in 11 years, and is designed to create value and opportunities for customers.

Speaking on the objective of the promo at the launch, the Executive Director, Shared Services for Fidelity Bank, Chijioke Ugochukwu said it was designed to deepen financial inclusion in the country. She also asserted that the promo was focused on reaching out to the unbanked population across the nation.

Criteria

According to the bank, the criteria and rewards for the promo include; customers are to grow their bank account to N20,000 while existing customers are to top up account with N10,000 or more to qualify for monthly draws to win N2m, 1m and consolation prizes; topping up a Fidelity bank account with N50,000 or more qualifies one for Bi-monthly draws to win N3m; a N200,000 balance or more qualifiers one for the grand draw to win N10million.

Destiny Helpers

It is often said that when God wants to help you, he uses a fellow human being to do so. These helpers are commonly referred to as ‘Destiny Helpers’. They are of various kinds, sent along our paths in times of great need and various examples abound. So, how do you describe bankers that strive to find solutions to the myriads of problems afflicting society especially those in their immediate environments?

Well, Kingsley Ibenegbu, a technologist at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), described Fidelity Bank as a ‘Destiny Helper’. He was one of 68 winners in the Get Alert In Millions (GAIM) Season 3 Savings promo. Ibenegbu, who was announced the winner at the grand prize presentation ceremony in Port Harcourt recently, collected his cash prize of N3 million at the occasion.

His story is rather pathetic but reassures us of the existence of a higher power who is willing to rescue his children in times of difficulties. Ibenegbu was scheduled to undergo a surgical procedure on his eyes having been involved in a road accident in November, 2018. However, the lack of requisite funds seemed set to scuttle the surgery. “I was referred to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) which diagnosed that I had a retinal detachment. Unfortunately, the hospital did not have the equipment to help my case.”

Ibenegbu said he tried to get treatment from a private hospital in Enugu and was told that the surgery would cost him N1.1m which he did not have. Speaking to journalists at the prize presentation ceremony in Port Harcourt recently said, “I went home that night and prayed to God, asking for the forgiveness of my sins and to bless me with a miracle; the following day, I got a call that I have won N3million,” he said. Ibenegbu lauded the bank for the gesture, describing it as a ‘destiny helper’.

The technologist however confirmed that he would now proceed with the surgery this June. Ibenegbu is just one of the few individuals that have benefited from the bank’s savings promo and CSR interventions.

In the course of the savings promo, Oghenewajutome Dennis Ezo, an unemployed graduate from Delta State was a lucky winner of N3 million in the fourth monthly /second bi-monthly draw of the GAIM Season three promo. Today, Ezo is not at the mercy of Nigeria’s dysfunctional labour market as he has ploughed his cash winnings into a lucrative business venture and furthering his education.

For Master Collins Oragwam, a ten-year old school boy from Anambra State, his N2m prize money has brought with it renewed hope for a better and more prosperous future. Whilst expressing his sincere gratitude to Fidelity Bank for not only keeping its words but providing innovative financial services to the general public, the father of the winner, Mr. Oragwam assured that, “I will invest the money wisely and will use it to take care of his secondary and university education”.

There’s one thing common amongst these winners though, all have cultivated the habit of saving. When Fidelity Bank set out to implement its GAIM promo, it was oblivious of the value this initiative would bring particularly with respect to transforming the lives of ordinary Nigerians.

The savings promo has in many respects provided timely assistance to many people regardless of their age, tribe, gender or political affiliation. Executive Director, South, Aku Odinkemelu said the essence of the promo was to encourage customers and their families to imbibe the saving culture.

Odinkemelu pointed out that the initiative was in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) financial inclusion strategy. She however stated that the importance of saving for a rainy day could not be overemphasised. The executive director told observers including staff members and bystanders that in 2017, a man won a house in Port Harcourt through the promo, adding that N110 million and 108 consolation prizes have been given out in the promo.

Past prize winners of the season’s promo, who were present at the occasion, recounted their joys when they received the calls announcing them winners and commended the bank for bettering their lives. Refrigerators and generating set were given out as consolation prizes to Nkem Isichei and Ejirooghene Ekeuwei respectively.

Whilst the financially savvy skeptics do the math to determine how the promo would impact on the bank’s bottom-line, ordinary people who never in their wildest imagination expected to become millionaires amidst the harsh economic realities are sharing their testimonies across the country.