- Polo Day pledges N350m for education in northern Nigeria
Access Bank UK used its annual Access Bank Polo Day held at the weekend to announce its results, which showed another year of business growth.
The international subsidiary explained that all its four strategic business units returned double-digit growth, adding that in only its second year of operations the importance of its investment in Dubai was demonstrated by a 200 per cent increase in income.
According to a statement, for the 11th year running, the bank didn’t record any non-performing loans, with corporate responsibility and exemplary corporate governance playing a key role in the growth of the bank.
The polo day was the culmination of a year-long programme, part of its fund raising in partnership with UNICEF for education projects in northern Nigeria in particular.
A total of N350 million (UD$970,000) were pledged during the day to build and equip 70 new classrooms, for children’s education in Northern Nigeria.
“Since the UNICEF/Access Bank initiative was started in 2005 it has built schools in Kaduna and, kept more than 8000 students 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,” the statement added.
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai had committed to match the building programme which would see another 70 class rooms built in the coming year and another 2500 children in education.
“The annual event is the climax to the high-profile Access Bank/UNICEF Charity Shield Polo tournament, and celebrates reaching out to and highlighting the plight of vulnerable children and orphans and internally displaced persons.
“In partnership with 5th Chukker and based in Kaduna, Nigeria, the tournament is the biggest charity polo tournament in Africa and generates funds and stimulates support for the work of the UNICEF/Access Bank initiative across Africa,” the statement added.
Commenting on the feat, Managing Director, Access Bank UK, Jamie Simmonds said: “We are a bank where our growth has been fueled by the strength of customer relationships. It enables us to develop innovative products and financial solutions with rather than just for our customers.
“Becoming a UK clearer is a major landmark for us and differentiates us from many of our competitors in the market place.
“We also manage our retail deposit offering in-house for greater control with both initiatives forming part of our strategy to future proof the bank.”
On his part, Chairman of Access Bank UK Limited, Herbert Wigwe, said, “Together 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 should support its wellbeing.”