One of the leading Nigerian banks, Access bank has empowered its “closa agents” with solar-powered fiber kiosks to enhance service delivery and deepen financial inclusion.
The solar-powered kiosks will give closa agents more visibility, the leading financial institution claimed.
Access closa agents are authorised agents who perform banking transactions on behalf of Access bank. Access bank has more than 160,000 closa agents across the country, Investors King learnt.
The bank noted that its closa agent service is one of its plans to reach the unbanked and the under-banked millions of Nigerians in communities and cities
Access bank Senior Retail Advisory, Rob Giles noted that instead of walking long distances in search of a branch, Access bank customers can locate a closa agent near them by simply searching for ‘Access Closa Agent’ on Google Maps on their phone.
While speaking on the development, Access Bank Group Head of Agency Banking and Financial Inclusion Chizoba Iheme, disclosed that the bank’s closa agent network is one of the largest in the country and provides an easier and safer way to access financial services in Nigeria.
Chizoba added that customers can conveniently use any access closa Agent near them to pay bills and send money to loved ones.
He added that Access closa agents can also be used to deposit existing naira notes ahead of the deadline set by the central bank for the currency redesign.
It could be recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria has set January 31, 2023, as the deadline for the old naira notes of N100, N200, N500 and N1000 to be withdrawn from circulation.
Requirements needed to register as a Closa Agent include a visible business location, a minimum working capital of N50,000, a utility bill, and any valid means of identification issued by the government.
Additionally, intending applicants can register as an individual or corporate body with evidence of registration.
While the process takes only a few days, intending applicants can walk into any branch of the access bank and fill out an application form with any of the aforementioned documents.
The Memory of Prof. Ibidapo-Obe Comes Alive as Zenith Bank Names Iconic Unilag Alumni Building in His Honour
The memory of Professor Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, came alive as Zenith Bank Plc named the iconic building housing its Unilag Branch and the University of Lagos (Unilag) Alumni in his honour on Friday, November 25, 2022.
In his opening remarks at the commissioning ceremony, the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc and Chairman of the Body of Banks’ CEOs in Nigeria, Mr Ebenezer Onyeagwu, lauded the Founder and Chairman of the bank, Jim Ovia, CFR, for being physically present at the commissioning of the building to honour the memory of his late friend, Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, who served on the board of Zenith Bank as a Non-Executive Director, and for his passion for youth education and digital learning.
He noted the remarkable and continued commitment of Jim Ovia, CFR, to education and youth development in Nigeria, especially through the setting up of James Hope College, a co-educational institution which offers a combination of British and Nigerian curricula, and the James Hope University, which is billed to commence academic activities next year. He also extolled his philanthropy through the setting up of the Jim Ovia Foundation and Mankind United in Total Support for Education Initiative, which has awarded scholarships and produced over 1500 graduates from among indigent people who would not have had the benefit of having a university education.
Onyeagwu also recalled how the bank’s partnership with the University of Lagos began in 2001 with the donation of the first ICT centre, when the Founder and Chairman was the Group Managing Director/ CEO of the bank. According to him, “Today, Zenith Bank has built not less than 15 ICT centres in various tertiary institutions and cities all over the country. And I just want to say that no single institution or individual has been able to accomplish what we have done in that respect. And this is a demonstration of the passion our Founder and Chairman has, not just for education, but also for digital learning and computer literacy. This is in addition to several other support to the university, including the institution of Academic Excellence Awards in 2001, where the best graduating students from selected departments – Banking & Finance, Business Administration, Economics and Accounting, receive awards with financial rewards (currently NGN500,000) and employment opportunity, and the donation of 3,500 tablets to enable indigent students of the university to learn online effectively in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic”. Onyeagwu noted that the building is a strong statement of Zenith Bank’s sustainability initiatives as a signatory to several global sustainability frameworks including the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking, as it incorporates many of the elements that make a facility environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Speaking at the commissioning of the iconic building, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel noted the huge contributions of Zenith Bank and, in particular, Jim Ovia, CFR, a man he described as a father, to the development of Nigeria. In his words,” when you see things being done consistently in the right way, there is always a man pointing in that direction. A lot of people ask me how come you are doing so much in public service; I say I come from a background where my mentor told me that you don’t report efforts, you don’t give excuses, but you report results. So no matter the situation, even in the midst of an economic recession, in the midst of Covid, you should not stop development and performance. As far as you are from the Zenith family, you are expected to have that creativity and ideas that can make you produce results. In Zenith, we say only the paranoid survive. So I really want to appreciate what I am seeing here today”. Whilst thanking the alumni association and the school authority for their collaborative efforts towards achieving capacity development, which he described as the bane of Nigerian society, he expressed his delight and honour to commission a building named after the revered Late Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, who touched and impacted so many people while he was alive.
In his address, the National President of Unilag Alumni Association, Dr. John Momoh, thanked the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank as well as the management of the bank for the magnificent building and Mrs. Sola Ibidapo-Obe for accepting the association’s request to name the building after her husband as a lasting legacy in his honour. He encouraged everyone to take good care of and maintain the building to serve the university community for years to come.
In her remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, acknowledged the invaluable contributions of Zenith Bank to the development of the school, promising to work with the Alumni association to ensure that the facility serves not only the Alumni but also the entire students populace. She thanked the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, CFR, for donating 3,500 tablets to the university, which ensured that students who could not afford laptops for e-learning during the covid-19 pandemic were not left behind.
In her remarks, the wife of the Late Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, Mrs. Sola Ibidapo-Obe, thanked the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, CFR, for immortalising her late husband with such a great edifice named after him. Recalling how close he was to her late husband, Mrs Ibidapo-Obe said: “You are my husband’s friend. Dr. Jim Ovia has demonstrated the love that does not die in his friendship with my beloved husband. When he fell ill, Dr. Jim Ovia was there from day one till the last moment. I could feel the way he felt. From then, I knew that he was a genuine friend. He tried his best to ensure my husband survived, but he did not”.
The iconic building, which sits on a total site area of 950m2, was constructed by a team of world-class builders who had the mandate of delivering the best quality possible. The iconic structure is a smart building that incorporates many of the elements that make a facility environmentally friendly and sustainable, including a grid-tie solar system that sustains power load on solar and not on a generator or national grid, an inverter-driven VRF air conditioning system and motion sensor lighting to enhance energy efficiency, perforated aluminium composite panels for natural lighting and ventilation, free Wi-Fi system to provide internet access for students, fire management systems, including fire hydrant, smoke detector, and fire alarm system, and a LED screen installed on the building for the dissemination of information. The iconic building will house the Unilag Branch of Zenith Bank Plc and the operations of Unilag Alumni. Of the total 1,665m2 of floor area designated for office use in the four-storey building, 585m2 will be used by Unilag Alumni.
Spectacle as Zenith Bank Lights Up Ajose Adeogun Street for the Yuletide Season
It was a great spectacle to behold as the Christmas and Yuletide season came to life at the 2022 Zenith Bank Christmas Light-Up Ceremony, which was held at the Ajose Adeogun Street Roundabout, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Saturday, November 19, 2022.
The official lighting ceremony, which was performed by the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, supported by Executive Management, was witnessed by many of the bank’s staff and customers, with others joining virtually.
With the theme “Let There Be Light”, this year marks the 16th edition of the Light-up Ceremony at the Ajose Adeogun Roundabout. The Light-Up event is an annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative by the bank to herald the yuletide season through the beautification of Ajose Adeogun Street – home to Zenith Bank’s Corporate Headquarters – which has come to be recognised as an iconic place, attracting people from all walks of life who visit with their families and friends to take pictures and make videos of the wonderful spectacle, especially at night and enjoy the ambience of the street and season.
Speaking during the ceremony, Onyeagwu expressed his delight in heralding the yuletide season of 2022 through the iconic Ajose Adeogun Street lighting up. In his words, “today is a unique day. It is unique in the sense that we are going to turn on the Christmas light and activate the spirit of Christmas, which we usually have annually. It is also unique in the sense that we are honoured and delighted to have in our midst the wife of our Founder and Chairman, Mrs. Kay Ovia”.
He praised Quantum Markets, the company responsible for the annual decorations, for the outstanding, very creative and extremely beautiful work that they have done. According to him, “when you look at the Christmas set-up we have every year, it looks completely different, and there is no repetition of themes. And when we think we have seen it all, by the time a new one comes, it is something completely different and massively so. The one for this year, as I entered here, I was wondering if this is a theme park”.
Whilst urging everyone to imbibe the message and spirit of Christmas, which is about peace, love, forgiveness and above all, respect for humanity, Onyeagwu prayed for peace in every home, business and in the country and that this year’s celebration would be like no other that we have seen.
Zenith Bank has clearly distinguished itself in the Nigerian financial services industry as an institution committed to building a more sustainable and inclusive economy and promoting responsible business practices in Nigeria through integrating sustainability principles in its business operations.
The bank’s sustainability and CSR initiatives are hinged on the belief that today’s business performance is not all about the financial numbers – the bank believes that an institution’s social investments, contributions to inclusive economic growth and development as well as improvements in the condition of the physical environment, all constitute a balanced scorecard.
Through its CSR initiatives, Zenith Bank has embodied the overarching objective of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which provide a framework for addressing the major challenges confronting society. Its social investments are targeted at health, education, women and youth empowerment, sports development and public infrastructure enhancement. Overall, Zenith Bank’s total CSR investment in 2021 was NGN4.37 billion, representing 1.79% of its Profit After Tax (PAT) and 33.1% increase from 2020.
The bank remains committed to furthering the economic, cultural and social development of host communities, particularly through community-based initiatives and philanthropy. As a good corporate citizen, it continues to deliver projects that have long-term social and economic benefits for the communities because it believes that its business is only as strong as the communities in which it operates.
To demonstrate its commitment to creating and expanding opportunities, the bank regularly makes donations towards setting up ultramodern ICT centres in several educational institutions and cities across the country. It also supports various developmental projects, and healthcare delivery causes in Nigeria and contributes to the development of sports in Nigeria through its sponsorship of the Zenith Women Basketball League and the Zenith Bank Delta State Principal’s and Headmaster’s Football Competitions, amongst others.
In recognition of its contributions and social investments to its host communities and the society at large, the bank was recognised at the Sustainability, Enterprise, and Responsibility (SERAS) Awards 2021 as the “Most Responsible Organisation in Africa”.
The 61st FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship Tees Off This Friday
In furtherance of its commitment to the development of sports in Nigeria, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced that the 61st edition of the FirstBank sponsored Lagos Amateur Golf Championship has been scheduled to tee-off at the golf section of Ikoyi Club 1938 on Friday 18th, to Sunday 20th of November 2022.
To be played over 54-holes (3-days), the FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship is a World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) listed competition that attracts the best golfers from the amateur scene, not only in Nigeria but across the world. The emerging winner of the Championship, the Amateur Champion for the year, also earns points that contribute to their WAGR ranking. The 61st FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship is also supported by Seven-Up Bottling Company, One Spirit Company and Palton Morgan Holdings.
On behalf of the tournament organisers, Ibukun Obatoyinbo, Director Concierge Sports said “FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship has been the premier amateur golf event in West Africa. It is notable that some of the top golf professionals within this environment have been participants & past winners of the Championship. As we mark the 61st edition this year Concierge Sports are committed to the continued promotion & support of the development of the sport in Nigeria. We are confident that a new set of stars will emerge courtesy of FirstBank’s unwavering sponsorship of the Championship. We look forward to an exciting 2022 edition.”
Anticipating the thrills of fun and excitement to be witnessed in the 61st FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Tournament, Oluwaseyi Otulana, Chief Marketing Officer, Palton Morgan Holdings said “Palton Morgan Holdings is proud to be a partner at the 61st edition of the FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship. The game of golf is truly a game of the masters and as the budding masters converge this year at the Ikoyi Club 1938 Golf Course, a long-standing tradition since the Championship’s inception in 1960, we look forward to an exciting tournament as participants journey from far and near to grace this prestigious event.
We understand that great things come from humble beginnings which is why we are glad to be a part of this year’s event. Palton Morgan as masters in our own right wishes all the participants the best of luck.”
Speaking ahead of the 61st edition, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications highlights FirstBank’s consistent role in driving development through sports: ‘’As an institution that is woven into the fabric of the society for nearly 129 years, FirstBank has been at the forefront of the growth and development of sports in Nigeria for decades. Our constant commitment to sports is a demonstration of our belief that sport remains a major vehicle for social and economic development. From infrastructure development, employment generation to social skills, sport remains a unifying force for socio-cultural interaction and development regardless of language, culture and religion.’’
Assuring participants of a memorable tournament, Dr. Anthony Oboh, Golf Captain, Ikoyi club 1938 stated that “It’s our pride and honour to welcome participants to the 61st edition of the FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship, the premier amateur golf event in West Africa. 61 years of continued partnership with FirstBank has been phenomennal. It is a partnership we are proud of and we look forward to fostering for many more decades.
To participants from across Nigeria and Africa, we invite you to enjoy our facilities. This 2022 edition promises to be more exciting and better than those before it. Go swing, enjoy your golf, and we can’t wait to congratulate the Amateur Champion for the year.”
Expressing his appreciation to FirstBank for its unbroken sponsorship through the years, Ademola Mumuney, Chairman, Ikoyi Club 1938 noted that “golfing in Nigeria and particularly Ikoyi Club 1938, cannot be sufficiently described without due recognition of FirstBank’s consistent and unbridled partnership, year over year, for more than six decades. Greatness is well exemplified in this fusion of Golf and FirstBank. I hope other organisations would latch on to this for better enhancement of sports in Nigeria”.
Since its debut, FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship has been the most consistent and premier amateur golf event in West Africa and has produced great champions most of who are competing in the elite professional golf cadre. Last year, the Championship threw up Ilorin based Aminu Kadir who won the landmark edition. It is expected that this year’s edition will produce another great winner.
Other FirstBank-sponsored sporting events include the Georgian Cup of Kaduna Polo Tournament, sponsored for 102 years; the Dala Tennis Hard Court in Kano Club for over 30 years; the Obasanjo Pro-Amateur Golf tournament of Abeokuta Club now in its 6th year. The Bank’s influence in the development of sport in Nigeria is under its First@Sport initiative.
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