Fidelity is Nigeria's Most Socially Responsible Bank
Fidelity Bank Plc has been declared the Most Socially Responsible Bank in Nigeria. The bank clinched the enviable position ahead of rivals at the 4th Social Enterprise Reports and Awards (SERA) 2010, organized by Tru-Contact Limited in association with the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) in Lagos, at the weekend.
The elaborate ceremony which had the cream of Nigeria’s conscionable entrepreneurs in attendance including Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State also witnessed a stiff contest among major corporations who had sought to leave enduring legacies in social investment in Nigeria in the last one year.
Fidelity’s recognition came ahead of rivals like First City Monument Bank Plc and GT Bank Plc all of who put up sterling performances in their bids to plough back values into the society that sustains their existence as corporate citizens.
With the weekend honour, Fidelity seemed to be threading a familiar path as it would be the fourth time it was recognized by the organizers of the awards for its high impact investment in the area of giving back to the community.
It would be recalled that Fidelity Bank was also named the Most Socially Responsible Company in Nigeria for the Promotion of Arts in 2008 and 2009 by the organizers of the award after shrugging of stiff competition from other nominees like MTN Nigeria, Dangote Group and Bank PHB to clinch the award which it had beaten GT Bank and Skye Bank to win in 2008.
On the continental level, Fidelity Bank was also named Africa’s Most Socially Responsible Bank in 2008 by The Banker magazine at an elaborate ceremony organized as part of activities marking the Annual General Meeting of the World Bank and IMF in Washington DC.
The award night at the MUSON Center was however not an all Fidelity night as many socially conscious corporate bodies carted away laurels with Etisalat and MTN making a strong showing in the telecommunications sector and FCMB also picking up an award in a different category.
Industry watchers who turned up at the ceremony were unanimous in the view that Fidelity’s award was well deserved in view of the eclectic but high impact nature of the bank’s CSR initiatives.
They recalled that the bank had been the only Nigerian bank that has adopted the use of bio-degradable paper in dispensing cash rather than the usual polythene bags that pose obvious threats to the environment.
The bank’s hugely successful International Creative Writing Workshop series through which it had made invaluable contributions to efforts to preserve Nigeria’s globally acclaimed literary tradition was seen as one idea that had improved its chances with the judges of the awards.
The last edition of the workshop which took place in Abuja had attracted frontline storytellers from Canada and Zimbabwe under the leadership of Helon Habila, Nigeria’s famous novelist and first Chinua Achebe Fellow at Bard College who also teaches Creative Writing in George Mason University, Virginia, USA.
Beneficiaries of this noble effort have won the CNN African Journalist of the Year award, International Scholarships, Writers’ Fellowships and Residency programmes overseas while some have gone on to publish critically acclaimed books in the country.
Reacting to the award at the weekend, Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi, said that the “award is a validation of our belief that what will change society is not necessarily the big edifices we build but the small, often forgotten things which are always over looked by people who lack the patience to cast a closer look at things. The path we have chosen to tread may not be as popular as investing in sports or musical jamborees but the values are there for all to see”.
This article was originally posted on Nigeria Business Communities