The Access Bank UK used its annual Access Bank Polo Day at Guards Polo Club, Windsor, at the weekend to post results showing another year of outstanding international business growth.
Last year, 2018, was when the bank joined the three key UK clearing systems, and collected the best African Trade Finance Bank Awards from both International Finance and CFI. All four strategic business units returned double digit growth and only in its second year of operations was the importance of its investment in Dubai demonstrated by a 200 per cent increase in income. For the 11th year running, it was able to report zero non-performing loans.
With corporate responsibility and exemplary corporate governance playing a key role in the growth of the bank, the Polo day is the culmination of a yearlong programme, part of its fund raising is in partnership with UNICEF for education projects in northern Nigeria in particular.
A total of N350 million was pledged during the day to build and equip 70 new classrooms for children’s education in Northern Nigeria. Since the UNICEF/Access Bank initiative was started in 2005, it has built schools in Kaduna and kept more than 8000 students in continuous education.
At the same time, new school blocks and a computer literacy building , all in a more secure and friendly school environment, have been developed. The communities surrounding the schools are being supported with bore-holes for water, and sewing and grinding machines to secure employment and stimulate economic and social development. Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, is committed to match the building programme which will see another 70 classrooms built in the coming year and another 2500 children in education.
The annual event is the climax to the high-profile Access Bank/UNICEF Charity Shield Polo tournament, and celebrates reaching out to and highlighting the plight of vulnerable children and orphans and internally displaced persons. In partnership with 5th Chukker and based in Kaduna, Nigeria, the tournament is the biggest charity polo tournament in Africa and generates funds and stimulates support for the work of the UNICEF/Access Bank initiative across Africa.