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Nigerian Government is Generous For subsidizing Foreign Education- Financial Expert

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A banking expert and financial analyst, Olajide Brown has commented on the recent viral post by a Nigerian final-year student of Greenwich University in the United Kingdom (UK) who threatened to commit suicide if his tuition fee was not paid. The student, who took his lamentation to social media on Twitter via the handle @RealityOflilife, called out a commercial bank and the central bank for not paying his tuition fees in British Pounds. In his post, he threatened to commit suicide if his request was not granted after receiving a mail from the school management of his suspended studentship with a deadline.
Olajide urged the general public not to be swayed by social media outbursts and antics but to treat issues based on facts. According to him, “the young student is just emotional and trying to elicit public sympathy. Due to the scarcity of forex in the country and the sheer number of students currently schooling abroad, it is difficult for the central bank to accede to the requests for foreign exchange for school fees abroad in a short period, as the apex bank will have to source for the forex. Currently, banks have thousands of requests, and because of the scarcity of forex, there is usually an average of about four months waiting time before each request is processed”. Students know this because a good number of banks have communicated this to their customers.
Speaking further, Olajide averred: “when I saw the post on Twitter and read through, it portrayed the student’s mischief or ignorance of how the forex for school fees payment operates. Apart from the fact that he didn’t apply on time, if the request for foreign currency for school fees payment is received by a bank, it will take a minimum of about four months for the central bank to provide the foreign currency because they have thousands of requests from students from universities across the globe. Therefore, it is not banks’ fault; they will only treat individual transactions based on the supply of forex from the central bank”.
 Speaking on the student’s threat, Olajide said that it is bizarre that the student is claiming that his studentship is to be terminated on account of failure to pay school fees. The practice is that studentship could be deferred, or a certificate will not be issued until school fees are paid.
Olajide noted that the central bank is magnanimous in providing forex for school fees as this is not one of its functions, and the practice is not obtainable in other countries.
According to him, “if you want to study abroad, you source the requisite foreign currency and pay your school fees; that is what happens everywhere in the world”. Continuing, he noted that the central bank is actually subsidizing the cost of education for Nigerians who are studying abroad, who is subsidizing the school fees of Nigerians studying at home? He, therefore, urged students and parents to begin to think of alternative sources of payment of school fees because the persistent scarcity of forex may lead to the discontinuation of the largesse from the central bank.
He recalled that some time ago in 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari had, in an interview on Al Jazeera TV, hinted that the country could not afford to continue to provide forex for school fees payment abroad. He expressed surprise that the central bank is still providing forex for school fees payment after the president’s remark, especially now that the forex situation has worsened.
He called on the government to resolve the issues in the nation’s education sector to make it more attractive to Nigerians to study at home as it has been proven and demonstrated that Nigeria’s educational system is good enough and competitive, citing the plethora of Nigerians who studied in Nigeria and are excelling around the world. He also advised students currently abroad to apply for school fees payment on time.

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Chris Okotie: The Face Of Restructuring

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By Ladi Ayodeji

Restructuring has long been the buzzword in our polity; it’s always the rallying cry of ethnic nationalities that feel marginalized in our country.
Various governments since independence have responded to the quest for equity, justice and devolution of power to aggrieved ethnic groups, which was why the Midwest region was curved out of the western region in the first republic.

Yet, regional rivalries culminated in the power struggle that led to the civil war.
The military regime of Gen Yakubu Gowon, which prosecuted the civil war, did so to keep Nigeria one, but the unity of the country has always been tested by the perennial struggle between very aggressive centripetal and centrifugal forces, especially before, during and after every election cycle.
This inspired the participation of patriot,thinker, renowned clergyman and political reformer, Rev Chris Okotie in the political process.
Since 2003, the Reverend been canvassing the idea of a paradigm shift as a way to reposition Nigeria and align it with modern developmental trends going on around the world.
Okotie threw his hat in the ring by contesting the presidential election three times.
However,in 2019, he began a new process of taking the idea of restructuring to a new level altogether,by his call for the adoption of Aboriginal Democracy as the best template for a new Nigeria.
Aboriginal Democracy is a dynamic new proposition that could solve most of the existential problems of ethnicity, religious bigotry, corruption, mismanagement, phobias, and other issues that have continued to hamper the progress of the country.
Okotie has argued correctly that his campaign for restructuring through the adoption of Aboriginal Democracy, which would be facilitated by an interim government is based on the fact that no incumbent government can restructure Nigeria.
This is a fact of history. All previous governments tried to restructure the country through national conferences,by whatever name called, but such efforts always ended up being blown away by selfish manipulation of the process and the intrigue of politicians.
Moreover,no subsisting government would yield power to an interim government because it would automatically lead to it’s demise.
Okotie, therefore decided to summon himself to the enormous task of heading the interim government he is proposing, being a neutral player and patriot who does not covet the presidency as career politicians do.
Of all the political players on the scene today, Okotie is the Face of restructuring, the only one who embodies the type of radical change that could create an all inclusive participation of all Nigerians in the governing process.
The previous attempts to restructure Nigeria have now culminated in the adhoc approach of seeking to address the problem by promoting the idea of devolution of power, state police, resource control and other elements that only turn out to aggravate the challenge of wholesale restructuring, which is what Aboriginal Democracy is all about.
Restructuring by contending politicians cannot work because the main goal of these politicians is to capture power by all means, not to restructure Nigeria.
Running Nigeria is no longer possible under the current constitution with all its flaws and obvious structural defects. It is a document hurriedly authored by the military around 1998, which is why it has the elements of a unitary constitution.
This constitution must be replaced immediately by a truly federal, original constitution which must be a product of the collective will and aspiration of all Nigerians.
That’s what Aboriginal Democracy,as championed by Okotie is promoting for the benefit of all Nigerians, irrespective of tribe,creed, religious beliefs, gender or other peculiarities.
Being the Face of restructuring, and the chief exponent of Restructuring, Okotie is not running in any election which would follow the restructuring he is advocating. That’s the proof of his sincerity and commitment to this project.
This is why the integrity of his campaign cannot be impeached.This is why restructuring should come before the 2023 general election.
Any transition programme that ignores restructuring is unrealistic as it would automatically return the country to the game of musical chairs we have been playing since 1999, when the present constitution became operational.
For those who haven’t read the details of Aboriginal Democracy and the modalities of it’s operations,I implore them to read the relevant subject on the internet, various media reports and interviews of Rev Okotie on the matter. They would be educated on the merits of this restructuring template.

However,in a nutshell, let me attempt a summary of the interim government proposition. First and probably most fundamental,is the elimination of the legislative branch of government.
In its place, the professional associations like the Nigerian Medical Association, the Bar Association, Teacher’s union and such bodies, would undertake legislative responsibilities.
Okotie believes that, these organisations are best suited to make laws pertaining to their respective areas of interest,than lawmakers who know little about the specialized functions they currently preside over.
Aboriginal Democracy has no provisions for ministers, political parties and most of the current structures of government that have become the wasteland of public resources.
The Aboriginal Democracy as the basis of a restructured Nigeria, would reduce or eliminate corruption, mismanagement and regional xenophobia, which constitute the perennial headwinds that hold back our progress.

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DR SIJU ILUYOMADE’S MOTIVATING FULL SPEECH TAGGED ‘BY APPOINTMENT” AT 14TH ARISE WOMEN CONFERENCE

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Being a speech made by Dr. Siju Iluyomade at the 14th Arise Women’s Conference on Saturday, October 29, 2022. 2 It is my utmost pleasure and privilege to welcome you to the ARISE WOMENS CONFERENCE 2022. Our theme for this year’s conference is “BY APPOINTMENT”…. #APPOINTED TO LIVE.

The Ethos of this theme is encapsulated in JEREMIAH 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart, I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. The word APPOINTMENT is used for a large variety of ideas including an act of assigning a job or position to someone to function fully and accomplish a task. It connotes making choices, engaging, consulting, allotting, fulfilling purpose, nomination, selection, appropriation, determination and many others. Our theme elicits the need for women to harness greater cooperation amongst themselves and others. A need to lead even in the face of existential threats. By Appointment is a call to meet needs or challenges with better preparedness. There is an urgent need for women to engage in civil society, vote in election, be elected to Government office, serve on boards, make their voices heard in any process that ultimately affects them, their families and their communities. At this conference, we are called upon to Champion OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN and their economic empowerment and well-being. We as women, need to shy away from situational ethic and values. Instead, we must embrace permanent, consistent values which we can pass onto our children. Women are the bridge between generations. It is time as women to embrace mainstream politics and policy making for ourselves and succeeding generations. 3 WE CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO BE ABSENT …. WE MUST BE PRESENT. THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL No. 5 says Achieve Gender equality and empower all women and girls. Because action in one SDG GOAL will affect outcomes in other developmental goals, such as no poverty, healthcare delivery, environmental sustainability amongst others. We need to invest in Women’s economic development, via access to education and skills which invariably will lead to wealth creation. MORE focus should be made on the building blocks that transform countries from POVERTY TO PROSPERITY. We need to speak out when injustice is meted out to women. Such injustice includes, discrimination, domestic violence, crimes, rape, violence, harmful practices against women and girls in public and private spheres. Gender equality is a key driver of sustainable development in all its dimensions. The Supreme Court of Nigeria had to take far reaching decisions in order to protect the Fundamental Human Rights of Women. In two cases, the Nigerian Supreme Court abolished the ancient culture in Igboland that denies Women the Right to inheriting properties in their father’s house. Justice Bode Rhodes Vivour J.S.C. (as he then was) who read the Lead judgement stressed THAT NO MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF BIRTH of A FEMALE CHILD, SHE IS ENTITLED TO INHERIT FROM HER LATE FATHER’S ESTATE. Consequently, Igbo Customary Law which disentitles a female child from partaking in the sharing of her deceased father’s estate is a breach of SECTION 42(1) and (2) of the Constitution, a fundamental rights provision guaranteed to every Nigerian. According to the Court, any Culture that disinherits a daughter from her father’s estate or a wife from her husband’s property BY REASON OF 4 GOD INSTITUTED GENDER DIFFERENTIAL SHOULD BE PUNITIVELY DEALT WITH. THE SUPREME COURT DESCRIBED THE CULTURE AS DISCRIMINATORY. The Supreme Court further maintained that punishment should serve as a deterrent measure and ought to be meted out against perpetrators of the culture and custom. 1) CULTURE DOES NOT MAKE PEOPLE, PEOPLE MAKE CULTURE 2) GENDER INCLUSION IS A HUMAN FIGHT NOT A FEMALE FIGHT 3) EQUAL RIGHTS FOR WOMEN DOES NOT MEAN LESS RIGHTS FOR MEN. IT SIMPLY MEANS WE ARE ALL GAINFULLY EMPLOYED. It is therefore pertinent to note that gender equality or inclusion is a FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT BACKED BY THE CONSTITUTION AND ALSO BY THE UNITED NATIONS CHARTER. Nations of the world are going through the greatest upheavals in Human History, according to the institute of Policy studies. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022 benchmarked across four key dimensions. 1) Economic Participation and Opportunity 2) Education Attainment 3) Health and survival 4) Political Empowerment The Gender equality gap is widening instead of reducing. As recently as March 2022, The World Bank Women, Business and the Law 2022 found that around 2.4 Billion Women of Working age are not afforded economic opportunities. 5 Out of 178 Countries, Nigeria comes at 139 projected as a country that still maintains Legal Barriers that prevent Women from full economic participation and access to funds. For so long, Nigerian Women advancement discourses have been neglected and contributions of women to national development have been under reported. Nigeria has a long road to gender equality with unimaginable records of death, rape, child bride, poverty and political disenfranchisement that prevent women from mainstream governance. No thanks to State and Religion as is being practiced today.

However in a) Romans 8: 29-30 For whom he foreknew, he also predestined. Women, we are PREDESTINED OR BETTER
STILL APPOINTED BY GOD, NOT BY MAN GOD HIMSELF APPOINTED US TO REIGN AND RULE. b) Judges 5:7 The Rulers ceased in Israel, they ceased until I, DEBORAH I, AROSE AS A MOTHER IN ISRAEL. Deborah, a Woman like you and I didn’t need permission to do the Right thing for her country. ARISE HAS TODAY BUILT SCHOOLS. PROMOTED PREVENTIVE HEALTHCARE by being proactive not reactive through its ARISE WALK FOR LIFE, a global success, introducing exercises, sports as a tool for preventive healthcare delivery. Arise has built skills and empowerment academy thereby putting more women to work. Arise constructed boreholes Arise adopted as a village project. 6 Arise women farmer’s foundation and many other projects. AS ARISE WOMEN, WE AROSE AS MOTHERS IN NIGERIA 1 Corinthians 11:12 Nevertheless in the Lord, Woman is not independent of man nor man of woman for as woman was made from man so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God Galatians 3:22 There is neither Jew nor Greek there is neither Bond nor free, there is neither male nor female. FOR YE ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS. This is to say that all things work better when there is unity. At this conference, from today, we must remove fear from our psyche. We need to make fear ineffective. That fear does not allow us to pursue our goals.

WE NEED TO STEP OUT AND STEP UP. According to the National Bureau of Statistics the National average of women’s political participation in Nigeria remains at 6.7% in elective and appointive positions; position which is far below the global average of 22.5%. Currently, only 7 out of 109 Senators and 22 out of the 350 House of Representative members are women. THIS PARTICIPATION LEVEL IS LOW. WE CANNOT INFLUENCE POLICY. Certain policies need urgent attention. We need to do something about it now. There are many forms of Gender inequality that perpetrate the cycle of poverty not only for the women but for their communities too. Advancing women’s agenda demands urgent focus. 7 Kofi Annan says: Gender equality is more than a goal in itself it is a precondition for meeting challenges: 1) Reducing poverty 2) Promoting sustainable development 3) Good governance Ban Ki-moon says: Achieving gender inclusion requires the engagement of women and men, girls and boys Its every one’s responsibility. Michelle Obama: No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contribution of half its citizens. Women, enough of stifling our freedom of expression. Let’s speak up for ourselves and others. There is a dire need for: 1) Respect of the Rule of Law 2) Economic Empowerment 3) Healthcare delivery 4) Education 5) Better sustainable communities 6) Women and all persons to be treated with dignity 7) Earn and maintain leadership positions 8) Defend the rights of Women, men, children, the voiceless 9) Stop domestic violence 10) Stop kidnappings of our girls and rape. (a Chibok girl gave birth to 4 children for four (4) different men whilst in captivity). 11) Secure and safe environment for all. We must begin to engage in all aspects of public life, in particular. Everyday there are accelerating challenges, today we stand on the precipice of unprecedented opportunity to advance women’s right to life. 8 Its not time to turn back, but to advance and keep faith and rekindle our efforts for sustainable growth and freedom from prejudices.

ITS TIME TO ACT LET’S DEMOLISH DISCRIMINATION FIND THE ROAD MAP TO PROGRESS AND PROSPERITY You are here BY APPOINTMENT – Its time to reimagine a better life – Find your purpose – Leave your footprints – Be accountable – Remember thought has no gender – Action has no gender, just rewards – Seize the moment – Arise Go out and Vote Resolve to get Nigeria off the list of the worst 10 countries that have done the least to tackle gender inequality and gender inclusion. Members of the 9th session of the National Assembly (House of Representatives) voted 5 genders equality bills proffered within the review of 68 amendments to the 1999 Constitution. • A bill to provide special seats for women in the National and State Houses of Assembly – REJECTED. • A bill to expand the scope of citizenship by Registration – REJECTED. • A bill for Affirmative action for women in Political party administration and leadership – REJECTED. • A bill to provide criteria for qualification to become an indigene of a State in Nigeria – REJECTED. • A bill to reserve a quota for women in political appointments – REJECTED. 9 What are the main causes of gender inequality? One of the major causes of gender inequality is the lack of awareness among women about their rights and their ability to achieve equality. This lack of awareness is often due to the prevailing cultural and social norms, which dictate that women should not only be submissive but subservient to men. Africa is the second most unequal continent in the world, and home to seven of the most unequal countries. The richest 0.0001% own 40% of the wealth of the entire continent. Africa’s three richest billionaire men have more wealth than the bottom 50% of the population of Africa, approximately 650 million people WOMEN ARE THE BRIDGE BETWEEN GENERATIONS Problem Nigeria has the highest number of child brides in the West African sub region and the 11th highest rate of child marriages globally with an estimated 22 million child brides in the country. Policy Decision Resolve that no child must be given out in marriage, she must be in School. Problem LATEST STATISTIC FROM THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO) revealed that Nigeria accounts for 34% of global maternal deaths WHY??? Policy Decision Advocate for better healthcare delivery for women everywhere, maternity centres to curb needless deaths.

REMEMBER, WE ARE HERE BY APPOINTMENT. REMEMBER, WE ARE APPOINTED TO LIVE REMEMBER, WE MUST FIND PURPOSE AND MAKE GOOD CHOICES REMEMBER, ARISE WOMEN NOW IS THE TIME TO ADVANCE; NO MORE RETREAT. 10 STEP UP AND STEP OUT NOW. ARISE TAKEOVER ITS ALL ABOUT GENDER INCLUSION
GOD BLESS YOU

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FIRSTBANK: THE EMBODIMENT OF CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY

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Who should corporate responsibility and sustainability lessons be taken from? Some companies are still unclear about the concept but latching onto the sustainability mantra anyway, because it has become a marketing buzzword for business? Or a company through whose creed and deeds, over the many decades it has been around, people can see corporate responsibility and sustainability lived (first) and preached (subsequently)?

 

If the above set of questions constituted a question in an examination hall, it would be one of the easiest of questions to answer. Not one person would fail it. Outside the examination hall, the answer to this question that seems as easy and simple like the question of 2 + 2 may not be as easy and simple. It may be complicated by all the cleverly arranged noise and claims projected at people to make it difficult for them to see and accept the obvious.

 

So, it is incumbent on people who know, and care enough (like this writer), to keep stating and restating the obvious. This is in the hope that doing so would help others to take full cognisance of the obvious and not allow themselves to be bamboozled by image without substance and rhetoric without pedigree.

 

The concept of corporate responsibility and sustainability is not about the clever or manipulative use of marketing buzzwords by corporate citizens. It is about impact, net positive impact, in the lives of real, not imagined, people through the deliberate and well-planned activities of socially-responsible corporate citizens.

 

Even if history is no longer taught in most schools in Nigeria, the records are there. The records show that Nigeria has been blessed to have standing by her, at all times, a corporate citizen which understands the concept of corporate responsibility and sustainability.

 

This corporate citizen has been standing by Nigeria before the country’s founding, through its amalgamation, Independence and all the conflicts and crises Nigeria has gone through and still faces. Today, the corporate citizen still stands by Nigeria.

 

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, a lender of unmatched pedigree, a bank with a history of unparalleled support to Nigeria and Nigerians (right from the colonial era to date, even serving as Nigeria’s central bank at some stage of our national development), has been a corporate citizen like no other.

 

A brand that has backed innumerable groundbreaking projects across Nigeria and beyond, FirstBank has demonstrated that real impact that can be seen and felt by all, and not mere marketing buzzwords, is the real measure of an institution’s understanding of corporate responsibility and sustainability.

 

It is incontrovertible that whichever way corporate responsibility and sustainability is understood or defined, FirstBank is sure to tick all the boxes. Just name every parameter for assessing a company’s efforts in corporate responsibility and sustainability and match each against what FirstBank has been doing. Is there any parameter that FirstBank has not surpassed?

 

FirstBank has been living corporate responsibility and sustainability for most, if not all, of its existence as a going concern. Knowing it cannot do it alone, the bank has also devoted resources to efforts that will enable it to preach or pass the message so other corporate citizens, groups and individuals will emulate it.

 

One platform the bank has used effectively for this purpose is its Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CR&S) Week. The CR&S Week is a full working week that the FirstBank Group, in-country and across the world where it operates, dedicates to the promotion, execution and celebration of social responsibility initiatives.

 

The Sustainability Week also includes a huge kindness campaign to reorient citizens towards the right values and reignite acts of kindness in society. It is only one of the many ways FirstBank is living true to its brand promise to always put customers first.

 

And the Sustainability Week seeks to invite others (individuals and corporate citizens) to follow the bank’s example and begin to intentionally create positive impact in their immediate communities.

 

From the inaugural edition in 2017, where the theme was “Promoting Kindness: Putting You First”, the Sustainability Week has helped to reinforce FirstBank’s role as a nation-builder that is driving sustainable development across communities where it operates. It was an opportunity for the bank to encourage others (individuals and corporate citizens) to follow in its steps, even if all they can afford to take are small steps.

 

Taking small steps may have informed the choice of theme for the second edition of the Sustainability Week in 2018: “Touching Lives: You First”. The bank sought to debunk the notion that touching lives in meaningful ways and making an impact on society require big-ticket projects, whilst emphasising the power in the little things people do and the small steps they take.

 

After all, is it not little drops of water that make a mighty ocean, like the saying goes? And does the journey of a thousand miles not begin with a (small) step, like another saying puts it?

 

Just take a look at SPARK (Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness), a values-based initiative that raises consciousness promoting kindness to one another in society, which the bank started during the inaugural Sustainability Week in 2017.

 

Aimed at reinforcing FirstBank’s corporate culture of encouraging giving and volunteering among its staff and the larger society, its magnitude today and the many kind initiatives it has sparked off across the country could not have been imagined when the seed was planted five years ago. Incalculable manhours and financial resources from FirstBank staff and partners have been contributed willingly.

 

Children in orphanages, internally displaced persons (IDPs) in various IDP camps, widows and other underprivileged or vulnerable groups have been visited and their challenges alleviated if not totally eliminated. Scores of career counselling sessions with secondary school pupils across Nigeria has also been organised as part of the Sustainability Week, which has been the first of its kind in Nigeria’s financial services industry.

 

In 2019, the third edition of the Sustainability Week with the theme: “Ripples of Kindness: Putting You First” enunciated the values (or pillars) of the SPARK initiative to include Compassion, Civility and Charity. FirstBank believes that these values and the acts of kindness that flow as a result of embracing the values are critical to promoting and building peaceful co-existence and prosperity in society.

 

Among the key highlights of the 2019 Sustainability Week was a “Nice Comments Day” that was a day set aside to foster words of encouragement, support and kindness to people around one, regardless of ones’ familiarity or close ties, in recognition of the instrumental role kind words play in lighting up people’s day and bringing out the best in them.

 

Another highlight was the SPARK School Engagement that promoted the SPARK initiative in schools, with the objective of embedding the values of SPARK amongst school children at a young age so the values become part of, and habitual to, them as they develop into adulthood.

 

Due to COVID-19 pandemic and government-imposed lockdown, the year 2020 witnessed no edition of the Sustainability Week. Any attempt to stage the kinds of activities and events that usually accompany the Sustainability Week would have been counterproductive, spreading infections and possibly deaths instead of kindness and joy that the Sustainability Week has become synonymous with.

 

However, FirstBank’s avowed commitment to corporate responsibility and sustainability would not allow it fold its hands and just watch while COVID-19 and its debilitating effects tried to make living and learning difficult for most Nigerians.

 

Working virtually or remotely and, where it could not do otherwise, physically but in strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols, FirstBank executed several initiatives meant to ameliorate the very difficult situation in Nigeria then.

 

The bank contributed to efforts to provide palliatives to vulnerable Nigerians, announced a moratorium on repayment of loans, set up a special loan fund for businesses run by women, established another for school proprietors in collaboration with a state government and drove an e-learning initiative that sought to move one million school children to a safe online learning platform so their educational progress would not be set back due to COVID-19 restrictions, government-ordered lockdown and the closure of educational institutions for the greater part of 2020

 

“Kindness: A Way of Life” was the theme for the fourth edition of the Sustainability Week held in 2021. Highlights of activities of the 2021 Sustainability Week, designed to entrench a culture of kindness, included a practical-oriented training webinar for staff to embed a culture of kindness in the bank by driving understanding of how kindness (or the lack of it) can impact the workplace, the marketplace and the communities in which staff live and work.

 

Another important feature of the Sustainability Week was the “Kind Comments Days” that ran all week to inspire a consciousness of kind choice of words and consideration for others. There was also a dedicated programme in secondary schools designed to institutionalise SPARK by using school SPARK champions (including students and teachers) alongside other partners such as Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) and Lagos State government to inculcate the SPARK values in school children.

 

One other feature was the ground-breaking ceremony for the Lagos State government’s OCAAT (One Community At A Time) initiative to provide the Primary Health Care Centre at Ijedodo community in Alimosho LGA. Set up as an initiative to improve the health and welfare of the members of various communities in Lagos State, FirstBank partnered the government on the project as part of its contribution to global efforts to meet some specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

There were also webinars: a general webinar with the sub-theme: “Education: Does Kindness have a Role?”; and a millennial webinar with the sub-theme: “Making the Cyber World a Kinder Place” which sought to proffer solution to the question of how people could become kinder on social media platforms.

 

All the past editions of FirstBank Sustainability Week highlight the longstanding and relentless commitment of FirstBank not only to continue to live but also to preach the message of corporate responsibility and sustainability.

 

Given its unmatched pedigree in corporate responsibility and sustainability, FirstBank has earned the right to address all other corporate organisations as well as individuals and groups on matters of sustainability. The bank has earned its right to the people’s audience.

 

It is against this backdrop that FirstBank’s forthcoming 2022 Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Week should be welcomed by other banks and corporate citizens, irrespective of industry, as an opportunity to come together and take lessons from Nigeria’s foremost corporate citizen with regard to corporate responsibility and sustainability.

 

FirstBank does not consider itself too big to take lessons from other corporate citizens in areas where they have distinguished themselves. So other corporate citizens should not feel too big to take lessons from FirstBank in this area where the bank stands highly distinguished.

 

Or can anyone claim not to know that if the concept of corporate responsibility and sustainability were to be represented by one corporate citizen per country on a world map where countries are denoted by their foremost corporate entities, it is unarguable that FirstBank would be the company eminently representing Nigeria on that map?

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