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First Bank Affirms Commitment to Corporate Governance

By Dipo Olowookere

First Bank Nigeria Limited has reiterated its commitment to the promotion and inculcation of sound business ethics in students of Nigerian universities as well as to continuously uphold good corporate governance in all its operations.

This commitment was made last weekend by the company’s Head of Corporate Responsibility, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Mr Ismail Omamegbe, during the National Final of the 2018 Ethics Challenge of CFA Society Nigeria held in Lagos.

At the event sponsored by First Bank, Mr Omamegbe said the financial institution is a responsible organisation that believes in robust corporate governance and sound ethics and that it was desirous of passing this on to the youth and Nigerians generally.

He added that the support for the Ethics Challenge was one of the numerous corporate and social responsibility initiatives by which First Bank promotes orderly society.

“We are going to be 125 sometimes in March 2019, and one of the key things that drive us is ethics; robust corporate governance. Without that, we wouldn’t have gone this far.

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“But apart from internally believing in ethics and having an excellent framework for upholding it, we also think of creative ways we can drive this as a programme such that it would endure and build young minds,” he stated.

Mr Omamegbe added that, “Our focus is how to empower youth. Our core areas of CSR are education, health and welfare. There’s also financial inclusion and responsible lending. There are different areas within these categories, and one of them is the endowment of the Samuel Asabia Chair in Business Ethics at the University of Lagos. That shows how much we believe in ethics because it’s an endowment that’s in continuity. That’s why we have this programme and are partnering with CFA Society because their vision aligns with ours.”

Mr Omamegbe assured that the next edition of the competition would be more significant as plans are underway to involve all Nigerian universities.

President of CFA Society Nigeria, Mr Banji Fehintola, commended First Bank for supporting the competition and expanding its scope. He disclosed that the Society spent a long time talking to potential sponsors who turned it down before First Bank came on board.

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He commended First Bank for investing in Nigerians saying, “They’ve been great people. This partnership started a little over a year ago when we approached them. I was so pleased when they came back to us and said we buy this mission. We believe in young people; we believe in ethics, so we are going to support this program. They came back to us and said not only are we supporting for one year but many years. Increasingly, they are increasing the impact of the competition. This shows their commitment to ethics.”

Three universities namely; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and the University of Lagos emerged as finalists at the national final.

Four universities had earlier been produced at a regional preliminary held in Lagos on Friday while two had emerged from the Abuja elimination round. While the University of Lagos, Babcock University, University of Benin and Obafemi Awolowo University qualified from the preliminary round in Lagos, UNN and the University of Ilorin emerged from the first round in Abuja. The six universities contested in the national final.

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Bowen University, Covenant University, Ekiti State University, Mountain Top University, University of Calabar, University of Ibadan, University of Abuja, University of Maiduguri, and Madonna University were the other participants in the Ethics Challenge that aims to promote the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence in the financial and investment sector.

Winner of the competition will be announced at the CFA Society Nigeria Gala Night on Wednesday, November 7 at the Eko Convention Centre.

For emerging finalists, team members from the three universities will get scholarships for the CFA Level One examination. They will also be part of the CFA Society Nigeria’s investment conference and women in investment management workshop.

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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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