CSR: First Bank On The Radar

As Nigeria’s earliest and foremost bank with over 8,000 employees and through day-to-day operations in about 650 branches and business locations across Nigeria, First Bank of Nigeria is positioned to contribute to the development of the country.

Through partnerships with leading organisations, the Bank has focused on support for educational advancement, enterprise development, entrepreneurship, health and welfare. Other support programs include financial aids to the physically challenged, security and safety, environmental and medical interventions.

It was therefore no surprise that FirstBank’s socio-economic efforts were acknowledged during the 2011 Nigerian Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards in which it was nominated in three categories: Best Company in Consumer Issues, Best Company in Infrastructure, and Best New Entry for 2011. The Bank however won the award for Best Company in Consumer Issues amongst many other awards from different agencies.

Here are some noteworthy support programs of FirstBank:

FirstBank disability support –In response to a cry for help in the dailies by The Fortunate Special School for the Deaf and Dumb, the Bank provided financial assistance to the school to avoid eviction.

Supporting autism –Since 2009, the Bank has supported children with autism spectrum disorder. To consolidate the support, the Bank assisted the Zamarr Institute in its bid to raise funds for an ultra-modern permanent site for the Institute for the treatment and inclusion of students with autism spectrum disorder. Also, since 2010 the Bank has supported the Patrick Speech and Languages Centre in its annual fundraising concert, which recognises talent among autistic children.

Crime fighting –The Bank recognises the connection between the security of life and properties and economic empowerment. To augment the Government’s activities in this area, the Bank sponsors Crime Fighters, a TV programme on security awareness, crime prevention and fighting initiatives.

Security tools –With the provision of security vans for operatives in States across Nigeria, the Bank empowers security forces to better deliver on their mandate of ensuring the safety and welfare of the entire citizenry. Security operatives in Enugu and Ebonyi States recently took possession of security vans too.

Security trust funds –As a means of bolstering security in Lagos State, the economic hub of Nigeria, a security trust fund was set up by the State Government. The Bank’s Group Managing Director sits on the Board of Trustees. By its financial commitments, the Bank has facilitated a platform for better effectiveness and improved security in Lagos State.

Train the trainer –In partnership with the MariaSam Foundation, the Bank sponsored a delegate to attend the sixth International Conference on HIV Treatment and Prevention Adherence, held in the USA. Useful insights and knowledge around state-of-the art science for HIV treatment and biomedical prevention adherence research were presented, discussed and translated into evidence-based approaches.

Oyo State flood disaster –The Bank supported the Oyo State Government in its efforts aimed at alleviating the suffering of survivors of the recent flood disaster, which claimed lives and destroyed properties.

Medical interventions –The Bank continues to render financial assistance to those in need of life-saving medical treatment including: a renal and kidney treatment for a 21-year-old sickle cell anaemia male student; follow-up kidney transplant treatment for a middle-aged male; and a surgical procedure for a paralysed middle-aged male following a fracture of the lumbar vertebrae.

FirstBank research-based endowment fund –With over N400million invested in endowments, the Bank has supported research in various areas of education in the country since 1994. Through these endowments in 12 universities, the Bank has created a platform for intellectual discourse and research in the Nigerian education sector.

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