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SERAS CSR Africa Awards 2021: Ebenezer Onyeagwu Named “CEO of the Year” as Zenith Bank Emerges ‘Most Responsible Organisation in Africa’ 

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EBENEZER ONYEAGWU

 

 

Zenith Bank’s Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, has emerged CEO of the Year for a second consecutive year at the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility (SERAS) CSR Africa Awards held at the weekend in Lagos. According to the judges, he was selected for a number of reasons, including engendering a culture that promotes the continued investment in social initiatives in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Under his leadership, the Zenith Bank’s social investments totalled NGN3.285 billion in 2020, representing nearly 2% of the Bank’s profit after tax.

 

The judges found him worthy for his commitment to promoting sustainability and responsible business practices in Nigeria, by his frontal leadership of sustainability in Zenith Bank, thereby enabling best industry practices in the banking sector, and for his passion for reducing carbon emissions in the Bank’s operations.

 

Zenith Bank Plc also emerged winner in four other categories at the SERAS CSR Africa Awards, carting home the awards for “Best Company in Reporting and Transparency”, “Best Company in Infrastructure Development”, “Best Company in Gender Equality and Women Empowerment”, and the coveted “Most Responsible Organisation in Africa”.

 

Zenith Bank was adjudged the Most Responsible Organisation in Africa, winning the overall best sustainability award, for its continued commitment to the tenets of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, within its immediate community and in the society at large.

 

The Bank also emerged as the winner in the category for Reporting and Transparency for its consistency in disclosing and communicating its sustainability journey and progress annually vis-a-vis environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals, in line with the guidelines and protocols set by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Nigeria Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBP), NigerianExchange (NGX), United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), and United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). The Bank also ensures the assurance of its sustainability report by reputable independent third parties. In 2021, the Bank’s 2020 sustainability report was assured by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and disseminated through the Bank’s website for the public and sent to all relevant stakeholders, including the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).

 

In the infrastructure development category, the Bank was voted winner for its nation-building initiatives and investments, including supporting efforts towards establishing basic services and functional security, governance, and economic and infrastructure systems, especially in Nigeria. As a testament to this and in demonstration of its commitment to the development (often referred to as reform, restructuring and rebuilding) of the Nigeria Police Force for the preservation of law and order, protection of life and property, and law enforcement in Nigeria, the Bank supported the Lagos State Security Trust Fund with N500,000,000.00 for the provision of security-enhancing facilities and infrastructure. This is in addition to contributions to other state security trust funds.

 

Zenith Bank was adjudged winner in the category for the Best Company in Promotion of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment for its Z-Woman initiative, which offers credit facilities to women-owned businesses at a single-digit interest rate and for a gender-balanced workforce (Women make up about 50% of employees). During the reporting period, the number of women and women enterprises supported by the Bank, through the Z-Woman initiative, grew by 88.7%, from 391 in 2019 to 738 in 2020.

 

The Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAS) is an initiative of TruCSR which celebrates and promotes investments by corporate organisations in the society through CSR and sustainability initiatives. It made its debut in 2007, and participation was opened to other countries of Africa in 2016. 

 

The 2021 awards featured 387 projects by 97 organisations across Africa. The SERAS Jury Board consists of global thought and best-practices leaders from around the world such as Maria Sillanpaa (Finland); Nyasha Gwatidzo (Zimbabwe); Adesuwa Onyenokwe (Nigeria); Amjed Achour (Morocco); Charles Ojei (Nigeria); Ellen Gunning (Ireland); Gina Din-Kariuki (Kenya); Indira Kartallozi (England); Lampe Omoyele (Nigeria); Paul Kapelus (South Africa); and Scott Walker (England).

 

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FIRSTBANK REWARDS CUSTOMERS IN TRANSACT AND WIN PROMO

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Getting rewarded for spending money is a dream that is probably going to remain exciting for many people, but not for the Firstmonie Wallet users. In a two-month Transact and Win campaign that started on November 22, 2021, First Bank of Nigeria Limited is rewarding several customers for carrying out transactions on its Firstmonie Wallet application. 

The e-wallet is useful for conveniently paying utility bills, purchasing airtime and data, transferring and receiving money, and many other digital transactions. Just for using the mobile-friendly wallet app, Customers got rewarded with mouth-watering prizes both in cash and kind. The number of transactions done on the app determines the price a user could win.

100 customers who had done 1-15 transactions through Firstmonie Wallet within the month won N10,000 cash price; 53 25kg bags of rice and 50 units of standing fans were also won by customers who carried out 16 – 30 transactions with the Firstmonie Wallet; 2 units of power generating sets, 1 unit of Air Conditioning systems and 1 unit LED Televisions went to customers who carried 31 – 50 transactions; while 2 units of iPhone 12 were won by customers who had carried out over 50 transactions on the app within the month.

Victor Nnanna Onyedikachi, a student of the University of Abuja was one of the winners of the iPhone 12, and while receiving his gift, he admitted that he did not expect to win the prize.  “I used the Firstmonie Wallet App, and just like that, I was told that I had qualified. I did not believe it until I saw it myself. I am truly grateful to FirstBank” he said.

Other winners also expressed their pleasure at being rewarded for using a completely user-friendly app. “There is no issue of service error when using it for any transaction. The service is seamless and the app is easy to use” one of them said.

The Group Executive, e-Business & Retail products, Mr Chuma Ezirim had noted that the promo was targeted at appreciating customers for their patronage; and in line with the Bank’s December-is-a-Vybe campaign. “This promo is hinged on the need to appreciate our customers for their patronage, especially as we have had an increased engagement and usages of the various services offered by our mobile-friendly wallet product,” Ezirim said when the promo was being launched.

Interestingly, the promo also includes new customers and users of the app. By simply downloading the mobile app from the play store, or using the *894# USSD string to sign up, anyone can qualify for the promo. The promo runs till January 22, 2022, so what are you waiting for as you could be the next winner of any of these fantastic prizes.

As the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 127 years, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has remained at the forefront of promoting digital payment in the country, and the Firstmonie Wallet is one of the channels for digital transactions.

Little wonder FirstBank was named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” and “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International.  FirstBank also bagged the Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years.

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Business

PRUDENTIAL ANNOUNCES AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS 2021 SPONSORSHIP

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…Sponsorship underscores the life insurer’s commitment to grow and to invest in Africa

Prudential Africa has signed a sponsorship agreement with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to become the official insurance partner of the ongoing 33rd edition of Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2021.

At a press conference to announce the sponsorship, Eric Mboma, Chief Representative Officer, Prudential Northern Africa Region noted that the sponsorship underscores Prudential’s commitment to the African continent.

“As we grow our business in Africa, we also want to support the passion and talent of its people. Africans share a common love for football and we are honored to be part of a tournament that unites the continent and brings together the brightest talents of African football”, he said.

Mr. Mboma added, “Through sports, Prudential wants to encourage people to stay active and lead more healthy lifestyles. As a life insurer, we believe that health and wellness are important for people to live fulfilling lives.”

Commenting on the partnership, Confederation of African Football (CAF) General Secretary Mr. Véron Mosengo-Omba said, “We are excited and pleased to have on board Prudential as a partner. We share a common purpose in our commitment to developing local talent as well as driving prosperity for the people of Africa.”

AFCON 2022 started on January 9 and will run till February 6, 2022 with Cameroon as the host nation.

Prudential is a global financial services group providing life insurance, pensions and asset management products and services to approximately 20 million customers in Asia and Africa.
Prudential has life insurance operations in eight countries across Africa: Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria. For nearly a decade, the life insurer has been providing affordable insurance and health solutions. Today, it serves more than 1.7 million customers through a distribution network of more than 13,000 agents and 600 branches.

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Entertainment

‘WHY CLUB INVOGUE REMAIN THE BEST IN TOWN’: CHRIS ERONDU SPEAKS

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In the last couple of years, the adverse effect of the Coronavirus pandemic has indeed eaten deeply into the economy around the world. In Nigeria, particularly in Lagos State, the entertainment industries like Lounge and Night Clubs have been one of the most strangulated, due to the restriction placed on re-opening of Clubs by the government to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

Most entertainment places like Night Clubs only started skeletal operations some months back. Club In-vogue and Lounge owned by one of the best entertainment sensations in town, Chris Erondu is one of those affected in this regard. The entertainment hub has adhered strictly with Lagos State government rules and protocol against the spread of Covid-19.

Regardless of the situation, the Club formerly known has Page-Night Club, tucked inside the serene downward of Opebi, Ikeja, has continued to experience huge patronage and turn-up regularly by nightcrawlers who seek the best atmosphere to unwind, especially on the mainland. Club In-Vogue which boast of the best environment, exquisite three different dance floor, classy big bar and a mini eatery has carve a niche needed to relax & have fun.

According to the quiet dude around behind the effervescent haven, Chris Erondu who has maintained the longest reign as a Club owner in Nigeria, “ by God grace, Club In-Vogue has continued to wax stronger because we don’t only plan for today, we always planned ahead years to come. Bringing newness to your brand at every point is what can edge you ahead of your competitors and this is what we have been doing even before the name was changed from Page to In-Vogue”

 

Speaking on the toll taken on the industry by the spread of Covid-19, Erondu says “ we practically shutdown like a year, we are law abiding company that obeys the rules of where we operate, hence, we followed Lagos State Government dictates, even now, we observed all covid-19 protocols and tried as much as possible to control influx of crowd to the club, especially on weekends”

Mr Erondu also disclosed that, “ things were slowed down at some point here because the brand was in Owerri, Imo-State to situate a branch of our Club there, when the time comes we shall give you more details about that. We shall also be re-launching Club In-vogue soon, where we shall invite our friends in the music and entertainment industry to grace the day. It will serves as part of our rebranding”

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