Access Bank emerges 'Most Socially Responsible Company of the Year’

06 Dec 2017, 12:00 am
Financial Nigeria


Access Bank also emerged the winner in four other award categories to dominate the list of honourees at the colourful event that held on November 17th at the Muson Centre, Lagos.

L-R: Suleman Ibrahim and Peter Diejomaoh (Team Members, Sustainability); Roosevelt Ogbonna, Group Deputy Managing Director; Amaechi Okobi, Group Head Corporate Communications; Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Head, Sustainability; Oluwayomi Abiola-Olawaiye, Brand Management; Jedidiah Akhalume, Adverstising, all of Access Bank pose with the five award plaques won by the bank at SERAs-CSR Awards 2017

In recognition of its leadership in promoting sustainability and for embedding its ethos in its business operations, Access Bank Plc has emerged the winner of the 2017 Most Socially Responsible Company of the Year Award. The recognition, which confers the “Overall Winner” on the honouree, is among the Pan-African awards given by the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards, during its annual SERAs – CSR Awards.
Access Bank also emerged the winner in four other award categories to dominate the list of honourees at the colourful event that held on November 17th at the Muson Centre, Lagos. The Group CEO of the bank, Herbert Wigwe, received the award of Sustainability Champion of the Year. Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Head of Sustainability at Access Bank, won the award of the Most Outstanding CSR Practitioner of the Year.

Completing the quintet of awards, Access Bank was also named Best Company in Climate Action; and Best Company CSR/Sustainability West Africa.

Sustainability encompasses the broad principles and practices of preserving the natural environment and creating positive social impacts as a deliberate strategy for ensuring continued organizational success. After Corporate Social Responsibility had over the last few decades defined the act of giving back to the society or the communities where an organization operates, CSR has become integral to the broad sustainability principles.

The special guests of honour at the SERAs – CSR Awards 2017 included former Governor of Cross River State, south-south Nigeria, Senator Liyel Imoke – who gave the keynote address; and the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire. The event was attended by CEOs of leading institutions, senior executives and sustainability professionals.

Receiving the Most Socially Responsible Company of The Year for Access Bank, the Bank's Group Deputy Managing Director, Roosevelt Ogbonna, said “Access Bank has continued to champion responsible investing, innovative health initiatives, environmental protection and financial inclusion. We will remain committed to driving sustainable development locally and globally as it is a necessity for all institutions.”

Access Bank played a leadership role in the development of the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles. The set of nine principles of the NSBP became a regulatory instrument of the Central Bank of Nigeria for the entire Nigerian banking industry in July 2012.

In his statement of receiving the award for Sustainability Champion of the Year, Herbert Wigwe reiterated the commitment of the bank to sustainability. He said: “I am honoured to lead a Bank that is committed to building a lasting and profitable financial institution that operates in a manner that will not compromise the ability of future generations to live in healthy environments and prosperous communities.”

Under the leadership of Mr. Wigwe, Access Bank in 2016 became the first African institution to win the prestigious Outstanding Business Sustainability Award of the Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Awards in Germany. The bank retained the award in 2017. Access Bank is also a four-time winner, in a row, of the World Finance Award for Most Sustainable Bank, Nigeria.

The Malaria-to-Zero Initiative, the Access Fifth Chukker UNICEF Charity Shield, and the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon are some of the impactful community investment initiatives of Access Bank, championed under the leadership of Herbert Wigwe. These and other initiatives of the bank are helping to fight diseases and promote social-economic development across Nigeria.

In 2016, Mr. Wigwe launched his charity foundation, the HOW Foundation. The charity is contributing to the global efforts against malaria and prostate cancer. In February 2017, he was named co-chair of Nigerian Business Coalition against AIDS (NiBUCCA), a private sector initiative to help eradicate HIV/AIDS in Nigeria and support people living with the condition.

The past winners of SERAs’ Sustainability Champion of the Year award include Lieutenant General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President of Botswana; Africa's richest man and Chairman of the Dangote Foundation, AlikoDangote; and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony Elumelu.