Determined to improve the lives and wellbeing of communities where it operates, Fidelity Bank Plc, one of the country’s most capitalised financial institutions recently put smiles on the faces of children at the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) camps across Maiduguri, Borno State. Staff of Maiduguri branch of Fidelity Bank, working under the aegis of the Fidelity Helping Hands Programme (FHHP), the multi-purpose Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) vehicle of the bank contributed funds from their salaries to buy educational supplies, including branded school bags, books and other writing materials which they donated to the children.
The decision to embark on the project tagged “Back to School”, the Bank said was borne out of the need to make life easier for students, particularly children in IDP camps as a result of insurgency in the North-East region of Nigeria.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo said the lender identified education out of the many needs of IDPs because there was a strong correlation between education and socio-economic development especially in modern times when the emphasis is on a knowledge economy. While stressing the role of education in the advancement of human capital, the Bank Chief stated that an uneducated populace is a veritable breeding ground for extremism and terrorism. “A literate populace, on the other hand is the bedrock of national development”, he added.
Okonkwo, who was represented by the Executive Director, North, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mohammed Balarabe, said the Deposit Money Bank (DMB) will support initiatives that encourage education at all levels particularly those projects that enhance quality and standards. Balarabe noted that the bank as a socially responsible institution, takes pride in entrenching the culture of true and responsible citizenship among its staff members. “We do not want to alienate ourselves from the community where we operate. We maintain high standards of integrity in our relations with state governments as well as host communities. That is why staff of the bank can pull resources together to embark on such a humane project”. According to him, the lender boasts of a crop of highly skilled professionals not prodded by the system to give back to the society where they do business.
“Though we know that the government has a fundamental role to play in fixing the myriads of problems facing every community, private sector should also lend their support, particularly as it relates to the provision of basic infrastructure and social amenities”, he said.
While commending the staff members of Maiduguri branch, he said that the Bank plays a leading role in identifying with and seeking solutions to the problems of its host communities.
Speaking in the same vein, Commissioner of Education, Borno State, Musa Inuwa Kubo, promised that the State Government will continue to partner with the bank to ensure that it prospers. He urged other corporates to borrow a leaf from Fidelity, tasking them to rise up to the challenge because government cannot do it alone. “Fidelity’s intervention is a very kind gesture. This will go a long way in helping students in the IDPs”, Kubo noted.
In the Education sector, Fidelity has provided immense support, including renovation of facilities and provision of classrooms and hostel furniture in many schools across the country. Some of the projects Fidelity Bank has so far executed through the FHHP include the renovation of facilities and provision of classrooms and hostel furniture at Zainab Dakingari Orphanage Home/School in Birnin Kebbi; construction of the Registry Block & Clinic Park Landscape in BSU, Markudi; renovation and equipping of Boys Correction/Academic Centre, Oregun, Lagos; renovation of Daniel Akintode School, Abeokuta; renovation of Home Economics Arts & Craft Centre, Ikota; equipment of the Information Communications Technology (ICT) Centre of Government Secondary School, Mabushi, Abuja, etc.