By Eric Elezuo
Nigeria’s premier bank, FirstBank Nigeria, has reiterated its commitment to continue to provide quality service to its over 15 million customers, create value and exhibit wholesome team work and coordination among its staff.
The remark was the collective stand point of the bank’s principal officers as it holds a 125 kilometres relay walk to celebrate the banks 125 years of uninterrupted existence as a heavyweight in the financial institutions and general corporate world.
The walk which took place simultaneously at major FirstBank stations across Nigeria, was described as a significant activity to prove that achievements involve everyone committing his own quota for the common good of the whole organization.
Speaking at the Mobolaji Bank Anthony, Ikeja branch of the bank, which hosted one of the walks, the Executive Director, Corporate Banking, Dr. Remi Oni, stated ‘that it takes collaboration, working together, teamwork, empowering ourselves to be able to achieve what we have’.
He pointed out that everyone else’s tiny bit of cooperation contributes to what the bank has achieved.
He also said that the exchange of baton is “significant in the sense that it suggests that the present group has done their part and has passed on to the next generation that will continue the milestone achievements the bank is known for.”
The walk moved to the headquarters at Marina where the leadership and major customers of the bank assembled.
In his speech, the Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, said the bank remains committed to value creation and effective service delivery to all stakeholders in the years ahead.
He said the bank would continue to provide standard services and products to its customers and stakeholders for value creation to maintain its market share.
“What we intend to deliver to them will go up in terms of quality and in terms of value,” he said.
Adeduntan reiterated Dr. Oni’s stand that the Relay Walk was very significant because it shows greatness and synergy.
He explained that the 125km was a representation of the collaborative effort of not just FirstBank but all its entities.
“The 125km is a mark of our incredible journey of delivering impeccable financial services to our customers as we leave no stone unturned to remain an icon of admiration in today’s financial services industry in Africa.
“The Relay Walk is very significant and symbolic.
“It’s symbolic because it’s a collaborative efforts not just FirstBank but other operating entities within the FBN Holdings family.
“We came together to organise a relay and the significance is when you think of a relay, when you think of 125, if you want to run a relay of 125 on your own as an individual you can get tired but when you collaborate together you can achieve it.”
Adeduntan said the walk signified power synergy, noting that the leadership of the institution had moved from individual to individual, generation to generation in the last 125 years.
“What we are doing is to pass on the baton of this relay to the next generation of our staff,” he said.
In his remarks, the Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc, Urum Kalu Eke, said the bank had been able to create a network of partners in the past 125 years.
“What we have been able to achieve today by the Relay Walk is to create a network of partners.
“No other institution in Nigeria has achieved this and we belong to a unique club globally of those that have clocked 125 years and more and we are proud of this day.”
Eke said the passing of baton showed that the bank had come to stay with successive leadership team, team spirit, innovation and self development.
The Group Chairman, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, on her part, said the bank would continue to be the number one in the industry with long enduring legacy of value creation.
“If you had the kind of legacy we have had, we are 125 years, you can only look forward to the future.
“When you remember that the only way you can have the opportunity to celebrate 125 years today is because at different times, different generations from the least to the highest worker have added value and created value.”
Also speaking, the Head, Marketing and Corporate Communication, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, said the bank would remain committed to helping customers build and grow their businesses as it has been committed to creating value for 125 years and counting.
She said: “We will continue to partner with our regulators to make sure there is strong robust financial services system in Nigeria.“
The anniversary celebration continues with more activities including a Jumat service on Friday, March 22, Church Thanksgiving service on Sunday, March 24 while a lecture will take place on Tuesday, March 26 with a prolific guest speaker, followed by a gala night.
Coronavirus: FirstBank Devices Measures to Protect Employees, Customers, Others
Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has announced proactive measures it has taken to control the spread of the COVID – 19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
The Bank’s Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney, said “embedded in our corporate strategy is business continuity management that ensures the delivery of products, services and initiatives to our stakeholders and enabling the economy in the long-term with minimal impact.
Therefore, we have employed necessary measures to keep our employees, customers and the general public safe-guarded and sensitised on preventive steps to flatten the curve at the fastest possible rate. These include the deployment of temperature measuring tools; hand sanitisers; face masks and adopting social distancing including utilizing virtual meetings. We have also cancelled owned and partnered planned events in the interim; suspended staff travels and have put measures in place to identify and communicate to staff who are arriving from affected countries to self-quarantine following the established protocols by the World Health Organisation and the government.
In addition, we have been amplifying all necessary official information from relevant health bodies and partners such as encouraging everyone to adhere to good hygiene practices which comprise regular cleaning of all surface areas – for example, tables, door handles – with disinfectants, consistent washing of hands as well as avoiding close contact with people and staying away from crowded environment’’.
Encouraging the use of cashless transactions, Mrs. Ani-Mumuney said; “we implore all our customers to embrace cashless transactions across our self-service platforms like *894# USSD banking services, FirstMobile, WhatsApp Banking, First Online for their needs like funds transfers, various bill payments, credit and internet data recharge and much more. In need of quick loans, these self-service platforms are also designed to meet their immediate needs through our FirstAdvance service”.
For enquiries and complaints, customers are encouraged to contact the Bank’s 24 hours multi-lingual customer care centre, FirstContact, on 01-4485500 or email, email@example.com.
She noted that the Bank is committed to protecting the health and safety of all its staff, customers and host communities as together the fight against Coronavirus would be won.
The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) should be reached on its Toll-Free Number: 0800 9700 001 for immediate medical attention and advise.
Oil Price Sinks to 17 Years All Time Low at $24
The price of Brent crude, the international benchmark, tumbled on Wednesday to the lowest level in 17 years as global markets continued to respond to the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia amid the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Brent, against which Nigeria’s crude is priced, fell by $3.84 to $24.89 per barrel as of 7.05 pm Nigerian time on Wednesday, its lowest level since late 2002.
With the oil price now more than 50 per cent lower than Nigeria’s budget benchmark, the country’s oil-dependent economy has come under more pressure.
The 2020 budget, which was signed by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in December, was based on oil production of 2.18 million barrels per day with an oil price benchmark of $57 per barrel.
The Federal Government was looking to generate N2.64tn oil revenue, representing 32.34 per cent of expected total revenue for this year, with non-oil revenue projection being N1.80tn.
The price war between Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and Russia after the collapse of talks on coordinated output cuts is increasing pressure on the market, according to Reuters.
Travel and social lockdowns aimed at countering the coronavirus were said to have raised prospect of the steepest ever annual fall in oil demand.
Investment banks and consultancies have been making heavy cuts to their demand forecasts as a growing number of the world’s largest cities and economies restrict movement.
“The oil demand collapse from the spreading coronavirus looks increasingly sharp,” Goldman Sachs said in a note, forecasting a fall in Brent prices to as low as $20 in the second quarter, a level not seen since early 2002.
The bank expects a demand contraction of eight million barrels per day by late March and an annual decline in 2020 of 1.1 million bpd, which it said would be the biggest on record.
Rystad Energy has gone even further, projecting a year-on-year decline in demand of 2.8 million bpd, or 2.8 per cent, this year.
“To put the number into context, last week we projected a decrease of just 600,000 barrels,” Rystad said.
In addition to imposing social restrictions not seen since World War Two, the world’s richest nations prepared to unleash trillions of dollars of spending to reduce the fallout from the coronavirus.
The impact on demand is starting to show in official statistics, with Japan’s trade bureau saying on Wednesday that crude imports into the world’s third-biggest economy in February were down nine per cent from a year earlier.
Virgin Australia became the latest airline to shut its international network with the suspension of all overseas flights, while the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, warned that the situation could last six months or more.
Elsewhere, Iraq’s oil minister pleaded for an emergency meeting between members of OPEC and non-OPEC producers to discuss immediate action to support the market.
Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry, however, said it had directed its national oil company, Saudi Aramco, to continue to supply crude oil at a record high 12.3 million bpd over the coming months.
Iraq’s Oil Minister, Thamer al-Ghadhban, asked OPEC to help to instigate urgent extraordinary meetings of the broader OPEC+ group, which includes Russia, to “discuss all possible ways” to rebalance the market.
Anchor Insurance Wins Insurance Company of the Year Award
Anchor Insurance Company Limited, a fast rising risk-bearing company, has emerged the Insurance Company of the Year at the annual Independent Newspapers Awards 2019 held at Eko Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos, penultimate
The firm’s spokesman, Nelson Egboboh, said the Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of the newspaper, Steve Omanufeme, who described Anchor Insurance Company as the “fastest growing insurance company of the year 2019, noted that “the selection committee specifically recognized the Company for its giant stride in the past one year, especially in its risk management and claims administration approach which have always been a source of delight for its teaming policyholders.”
From left: Ebose Augustine and his wife with other dignitaries at the event.
He noted further that “we are also impressed by the company’s turnaround record of performance in the last one year. It is noteworthy to say that the company under thenew Management team generated the highest premium income after 29 years of its existence, recording 72 per cent growth in one calendar year.”
According to him, “the new Management team’s ability to revitalize the Anchor Insurance brand and reposition the company for the statutorily induced recapitalization has further proven the organization as one that is ready to shock the insurance sector of the nation’s economy.”
“It is for the foregoing reasons, among others, that we have bestowed on the company, the richly deserved award of the Insurance Company of the Year 2019,” Mr. Omanufeme noted.
Making his speech after receiving the award on behalf of the company, the Managing Director, Ebose Augustine, expressed his joy that his company was being celebrated after just a little above a year in office with his new team, stating that “we were just doing what we felt should be done to take the company to another level but we never knew people were taking records.”
He used the occasion to call on governments at the state and federal levels not to shy away from subscribing to the relevant insurance covers, pointing out that their patronage will go a long way in helping to grow the insurance business and its contribution to the national gross domestic product.