In furtherance of its leading role in promoting socio-economic development, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, has announced the commencement of its Annual Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Week.
For the past seven years, FirstBank colleagues and customers come together to participate in global annual volunteer (Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness) SPARK initiative, to give back to and foster positive change within the communities where they live and work. This has seen an impact of over 200,000 lives across eight countries, over 103 charities supported as well as over 121,015 volunteer hours achieved.
The activities of the 2023 edition, which is scheduled for 23 to 28 October 2023, include Tree Planting, Women Empowerment, SPARK Schools Engagement, Orphanage Homes, the less privileged engagement, and Kind Comments Day.
In partnership with Nigeria Conservation Foundation, FirstBank employees and partners will progress its planting activity which targets 50,000 trees over a three-year period from 2023. Tree planting is one of FirstBank’s initiatives to reduce its carbon footprints and promote environmental sustainability as part of its overarching sustainability and ESG (Environment, Social & Governance) strategy and in alignment with the Nigeria Conservation Foundation’s Forest Programme – Green Recovery Nigeria (GRN) which is designed to help increase Nigeria forest cover from its current state of about 4-7% to 25% by 2047.
Additionally, in line with FirstBank’s commitment to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG) of women empowerment, the Bank will support cancer foundations focused on women and skills acquisition for women on 25 and 26 October 2023. As a member of UN Women, FirstBank employs the relevant women empowerment tools to empower women internally and externally as well as partner with International Women Society to drive skills acquisition.
The Kind Comments Day is an advocacy campaign encouraging staff, customers, and other stakeholders to say kind things about one another. It focuses on inspiring and encouraging people to be deliberate about the use of kind words in relation to others.
On 27 October 2023, staff of the Bank will visit schools for the SPARK School Engagement. This activity is aimed at engaging school students through the Bank’s employees on financial literacy and inculcating and equipping young people with entrepreneurship skillset and mindset to inspire self-belief despite the increasingly daunting economic challenges while preparing them for the future of work.
Rounding off the 2023 CR&S Week will be visits to Orphanage Homes, the less privileged engagement which will hold on 28 October 2023. Orphanages, including the Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs), will be visited in six geo-political zones in Nigeria as well as other SSA markets.
“At FirstBank, we are committed to promoting the culture of kindness as it continues to engender positive relationships with our host communities. By making kindness a way of life, we build stronger communities, foster empathy, and create a positive ripple effect that extends far beyond this week, said Ms. Folake Ani-Mumuney, the Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications for FirstBank.
It’s great to see our volunteers demonstrate their continued commitment to positively impact our communities. In the spirit of kindness, I encourage everyone to join us in celebrating the FirstBank Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability week as we make kindness a part of our daily lives, interacting with one another in impactfully memorable ways,” she concluded.
FirstBank has continued to receive awards and recognition for its consistent positive impact and performance from reputable companies globally. Amongst these awards and accolades are the Most Socially Responsible Bank (2018) (International Finance Banking Awards); CSR Bank of the Year (2020) Business Day Banking & Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards; Market Leader Nigeria (CSR) Euromoney Market Leaders 2022; Best CSR Bank Nigeria (2021) (Global Banking and Finance magazine); Excellence in Women Economic Empowerment (2019) (Central Bank of Nigeria); Market Leader Nigeria (ESG) Euromoney Market Leaders 2022.
First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for 129 years.
With over 750 business locations and over 215,538 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 42 million customers. The Bank has an international presence with subsidiaries operating in 9 other countries. These subsidiaries are FirstBank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FirstBank in The Gambia, FirstBank in Sierra-Leone, FirstBank in the Republic of Congo, FirstBank in Guinea, FBNBank in Ghana, FBNBank in Senegal as well as a Representative Office in Beijing, China. The Bank is at the forefront of promoting digital banking in the country and has issued over 12 million cards, the first bank to achieve such a milestone.
FirstBank has continued to make significant investments in technology, innovation and transformation, and its cashless transaction drive has been steadily accentuated with almost 22 million active FirstBank customers signed up on digital channels including the USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code.
FirstBank’s commitment to Diversity is shown in its policies, partnerships and initiatives, such as its employees’ ratio of female to male (about 39%:61%; and 32% women in management) as well as the FirstBank Women Network, an initiative that seeks to address the gender gap and increase the participation of women at all levels within the organization.
In addition, the Bank’s membership of the UN Women is an affirmation of a deliberate policy that is consistent with UN Women’s Women Empowerment’s Principles – Equal Opportunity, Inclusion, and Nondiscrimination.
Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities available in Nigeria an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.
For six consecutive years (2011 – 2016), FirstBank was named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” by the globally renowned The Banker Magazine of the Financial Times Group and “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” eight times in a row, 2011 – 2018, by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards.
Notably, in 2022, the Bank took a long stride on its growth trajectory with the Bank’s Viability and Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings upgraded to ‘B’ from ‘B-‘ (with Outlooks Stable) by Fitch, a leading global rating agency. This is an indication of the Bank’s strong internal capital generation and the corresponding recession of its risks to capitalisation. Fitch also upgraded the Bank’s National Long-Term Ratings to ‘A (nga)’ from ‘BBB (nga)’, to reflect its improved creditworthiness relative to that of other issuers in Nigeria. Furthermore, the Top 100 African Bank Rankings 2022 released by The Banker Magazine revealed FirstBank’s ranking as number one in Nigeria in terms of Overall Performance, Profitability, Efficiency and Return on Risk.
Other laudable feats in 2022 include FirstBank’s international recognition on major indices by Euromoney Market Leaders, an independent global assessment of the leading financial service providers where FirstBank was crowned:
- Market Leader: (tier-1 recognition) in Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR),
- Market Leader: (tier -1 recognition) Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG),
- Highly Regarded: in Corporate Banking and Digital Solutions,
- Notable: in SME Banking.
Also, in 2022 International Finance Magazine named the Bank “Most Innovative Banking Product in Nigeria” and “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria”. FirstBank was also awarded “Best Corporate Banking Western Africa, 2022” and “Best CSR Bank Western Africa, 2022’’ by Global Banking and Finance Magazine. Other notable awards in FirstBank coffers include: “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance Magazine – fifteen times in a row; “Best Private Bank in Nigeria-2021” awarded by Global Finance magazine; “Best Internet Banking Nigeria” and ‘’Best CSR Bank Africa’’ by International Business Magazine.
In 2023, FirstBank received notable awards including “Best Private Bank for Sustainable Investing in Africa 2023” by Global Finance Awards; “Best Sustainable Bank in Nigeria 2023” by International Investors Awards; “Best Bespoke Banking Services in Nigeria 2023” by International Investors Awards; “Best Financial Inclusion Service Provider in Nigeria 2023” by Digital Banker Africa; and “African Bank of the Year” by African Leadership Magazine.
Our vision is ‘To be Africa’s Bank of first choice’ and our mission is ‘To remain true to our name by providing the best financial services possible. This commitment is anchored on our core values of EPIC – Entrepreneurship, Professionalism, Innovation and Customer-Centricity. Our strategic ambition is ‘To deliver accelerated growth in profitability through customer-led innovation and disciplined execution and our brand promise is always to deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence to position You First in every respect.
Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications
First Bank of Nigeria Limited