First Bank: Leading Sustainable Development within its Communities
First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s Most Valuable Bank Brand, is known to be the leading financial services provider to stakeholders with varying social stratification and the Bank understands that the ability to operate successfully in a multicultural society is factored on building mutually beneficial relationships with its stakeholders and strengthening the communities where it operates.
The Bank’s quest to enhance the economic development of its communities has seen it structure its corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts to deliver long lasting impact along the strategic areas of Education, Health, Economic Empowerment and Environment. Included in these initiatives are the FutureFirst Programme, Educational Endowment Scheme, Youth Leadership Programme, Infrastructure Development Programme, Hope Rising Initiative and Employee Giving and Volunteering Scheme to mention a few.
In Education, FirstBank initiated the Endowment Programme in 1994 with the establishment of the Samuel Asabia Endowment in Business Ethics at the University of Lagos. Presently, the Bank has endowed sixteen Federal Universities located in the different geopolitical zones of the country. Some of these endowments have been converted to infrastructural projects including the University of Abuja Entrepreneurial Centre, ICT Park at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Lecture Theatre at the Federal University of Technology, Minna amongst others. Currently, the Bank’s total endowment portfolio is in the region of N500 Million.
The Hope Rising Initiative is designed to empower people living with disabilities; engendering inclusivity and diversity through education and advocacy; as well as skills acquisition through training. The Bank has partnered with the Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria, Benola Cerebral Palsy Initiative, Nigeria Society for the Blind, Sebbecly Cancer Care Initiative, and several other organisations and individuals, impacting over 6,257 people with its Hope Rising initiative. In the Health Sector, FirstBank Constructed the Remi Babalola Red Cross Clinic in Ibadan to provide accessible health care to people who are financially handicapped. Treatment so far administered at the center have been done free of charge, with over 43,465 patients treated on non-profit basis.
The Youth Leadership and Development programme is implemented in partnership with Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) to mentor the youth through sustainable community development programmes and value based leadership. The Bank has also initiated the Future First programme which includes Financial Literacy and Career Counseling, as part of its efforts at stimulating financial inclusion amongst the unbanked. It is also a platform where students in secondary school are taught about the importance of having a savings culture and early entrepreneurship. A total of 40,000 secondary school students have been reached so far with over 43,000 volunteering hours expended. In a statement by Folake Ani-Mumuney, FirstBank’s Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, the Bank would continue to invest its time and resources to enrich the communities in which it operates.