By Edu Abade
First Bank of Nigeria Limited has won the Financial Institution of the Year Award at the African Export-Import Bank’s (Afreximbank) Pan African Business and Development Awards.
At the ceremony to mark the 30th anniversary of Afreximbank, it hosted the inaugural Pan-African Business and Development Awards in association with the Business Council for Africa (BCA) in Accra, Ghana.
The award is in recognition of the Bank as an epitome of the Pan-African spirit through its leading role in promoting trade and investments across the continent, which has been instrumental to strengthening the economic and multilateral business relationship across nations.
Among its role in facilitating transactions across borders, the Bank launched its First Global Transfer (FGT) initiative in 2021, specifically designed to ensure safe, timely and improved efficiency in the transfer of funds across the network of FirstBank subsidiaries in Africa.
The FGT is not restricted to FirstBank Group’s Customers alone, but it is also open to individuals resident in the country the funds transfer originates from.
Organisers of the awards said: “FirstBank also got the award in recognition of its role in promoting trade and investment endeavours across the continent. With its subsidiaries across the FirstBank Group, it has continued to play a leading role in boosting cross-border businesses, including trade and investment opportunities, essential to enhancing trade relations amongst countries.
“In 2021, the Bank launched its First Global Transfer (FGT) initiative, specifically designed to ensure safe, timely and improved efficiency in the transfer of funds across the network of FirstBank subsidiaries in Africa.”
Speaking on the awards, Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, said: “We thank the organisers of the event (Afreximbank, BCA) for the recognition as it reinforces our commitment to promoting trade, finance and investment opportunities across borders which have been instrumental to the continued growth and development of the continent and the world.
On behalf of the Board and Management, this award is dedicated to all employees at the FirstBank Group for their diligence and hard work as well as to our esteemed customers for their loyalty and patronage in over 129 years of existence.”
Also commenting on the awards, President and Chairman of the Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, who has been at the Bank for over 29 years said: “We are recognising outstanding leaders and various institutions.
“Having joined the Bank in 1994, I have been fortunate to have worked with many of them at Afreximbank, contributing to Africa’s development is a lifetime vocation, as I know it is for all those that we have recognised tonight.”
In recognising these leaders and institutions, chair of the BCA and former Group CEO of Ecobank, Arnold Ekpe, said: “Too often our business leaders do not get the praise they deserve. Succeeding in business on the continent is not always easy, but it is rewarding and more importantly it is possible to build strong, profitable businesses that are globally competitive. Our winners tonight have demonstrated this.”
FirstBank has consistently been recognised by reputable global organisations for its steady outstanding performance and amongst the streak of recent wins is the award for Best Financial Inclusion Service Provider Nigeria 2023 by Digital Banker Africa, as well as Best Private Bank for Sustainable Investing in Africa by Global Finance.