Their excitement was exceptional that Saturday morning, a few weeks ago. It was an overflowing river of joy and gratitude they could not contain, pumping from their hearts. The students and staff of Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired, Surulere, Lagos, had a good reason to be ecstatic.
Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, the CEO of FirstBank, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, one of the nation’s premier financial institutions, and a team of volunteers visited the school to demonstrate acts of random kindness. Provisions, including food supplies, drinks, toiletries and educational materials were given to the school to cater for the hundreds of children under the care of Mr. Kehinde Alimi, principal of Wesley School 1.
The visit to Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired was part of the 2019 CR&S Week activities of FirstBank. The bank had its maiden CR&S week in 2017.
Expressing gratitude, Alimi began his speech by asking the students of the school to shout, ‘three hallelujahs,’ thereon stating, “I sincerely thank every member of your team (FirstBank) for their kindness and generosity. For all you have given us, God will replenish you back a million times. To have reached this stage as an institution has not been easy, but we have been able to pull through with the support of God and organisations like yours. The sheer quantum of materials you have brought also shows that you recognise that we are two schools and not just one – Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired 1, for senior students, and Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired 2, for the junior students. You have proved that FirstBank is indeed the first, while others follow.”
Like Oliver Twist, Alimi couldn’t resist asking for more: “We thank you most sincerely for today’s visit and we kindly enjoin you to continue to find time to interact with us. For us to have been in your thoughts means that you are concerned about our welfare, but we will still be approaching you with requests. We want you to find time out of no-time to come and be part of our programmes. We are grateful for your efforts and pray that God will continue to sustain the bank and all its staff. Thank you very much for all your cumulative efforts.”
Adeduntan had explained that the FirstBank team came to the school to demonstrate the kindness that it preaches and to assure students and staff of its support.
He said, “We believe that, if all of us can show acts of kindness to people around us, we will make the world we live in a much better place for everyone. Our decision to come here today is to show appreciation to the management for shouldering the enormous responsibility of taking care of these children with special needs. This visit is also to assure the children who are schooling here that, as the popular saying goes, you will not walk alone.”
Twenty-three other charity homes/institutions, including camps of internally displaced persons (IDPs), were part of the itinerary of the FirstBank staff volunteers, led by senior members of staff. Abdullahi Ibrahim, executive director, public sector, FirstBank, with other volunteers, visited the School for the Blind, Jabi, Abuja; Remi Ajose-Adeogun, group head, corporate banking, visited the Down Syndrome Foundation of Nigeria, Fagba, Lagos. Other locations were Madinatu and Almiskin IDP camps, Maiduguri, among others. Food supplies (provisions, drinks, toiletries) and educational materials were delivered to all the homes.
The wide range of activities of the FirstBank CR&S week underscores SPARK (Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness), a value-based initiative by the bank that focuses on creating and reinforcing a conscious mindset of showing compassion, empathy as well as giving to others. It is aimed at inspiring people to make a difference to promote kindness to one another. It is executed through a range of activities, including visits to homes for underprivileged members of society and talks about SPARK.
FirstBank’s visit to the various homes was particularly thoughtful in the light of the predicament of the less privileged and persons with disabilities in the country, estimated to be around 19 million by the National Population Commission in 2018. Many of these persons face several challenges, including hunger, starvation, stigmatisation, discrimination and lack of access to healthcare, housing and education. Though government moved to intervene in their plight when President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 in January, there has yet to be respite for them and most of them rely on the benevolence of public-spirited institutions like FirstBank and individuals.
Considering the number of challenges that Nigerians living with disabilities face, especially lack of access to healthcare, housing and education, there is no gainsaying the fact that they need all the care and support they can get.
CANOD Advertising wins M & B paracetamol media account
Nigeria’s first pharmaceutical company, May and Baker (M & B) has appointed CANOD Advertising as its media agency for the M & B paracetamol media account, following a rigorous pitch process that involved four leading media agencies.
The pitched brand, M & B Paracetamol, “the Red one,” has fast acting and effective tablets as well as pleasant-tasting pineapple flavour syrup for children. M & B’s avowed aim to sustain its dominance of this particular market category with “the Red one” led to its resolve to partner with an efficient agency, hence the pitch and the eventual triumph of CANOD.
The campaign, which commenced in the last week of July pan-Nigeria, is aired on both television and radio, with its execution in both English and vernacular to effectively penetrate the target markets.
CANOD Advertising is a young and dynamic aagency resourced by the smart and brightest, led by Tony Udenze. It is a team of consummate marketing communications practitioners with over 30 years’ experience across FMCG brands, telecommunications, hair and beauty care, pharmaceuticals, banking and financial services, government and public sector, electronics and insurance.
Industry watchers are of the view that the partnership between M & B, a pioneer and leading player in the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry and CANOD Advertising will help to reinforce the M & B paracetamol, “the Red one,” and make it the preferred choice of consumers in no distant future.
Eat‘N’Go celebrates 7th anniversary
Eat‘N’Go Limited, leading franchisee for Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery and Pinkberry Gourmet Frozen Yoghurt, is celebrating seven years of continuous growth since it began operations in Nigeria in August 2012. This anniversary, further throws a spotlight on the company’s success and immense progress in the dynamic quick service restaurant (QSR) industry in Nigeria.
As part of its growth trajectory, the leading QSR brand has remained consistent in the expansion of its services to more Nigerians, providing value and satisfaction for its customers all year round. With presence in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Lagos, Ibadan, Ilorin, Akure and Enugu, Eat‘N’Go has also just recently extended its footprint to Calabar with the launch of a mega outlet in the heart of the city this August.
Since its entrance in the Nigerian market, Eat‘N’Go has recorded significant milestones across all aspects of its business, with the delivery of high quality service. In the last seven years, the brand has grown from 250 staffers to over 2,400 employees, increase in the number of outlets to 102 and currently operates with a N10 billion investment in Nigeria.
In the course of its operations in Nigeria, the company has recorded a long list of achievements and awards; most recent of them was the QSR Brand of the Year 2019 and the CEO winning the Most Innovative CEO Award at the Business Day Leadership Awards 2019.
While commenting on the Businessday Awards, Patrick McMichael, CEO, Eat‘N’Go Limited, said, “We are particularly honoured to have received this prestigious award. It proves that the hard work and commitment of our team has not gone unnoticed. Since inception, we have remained consistent in our dedication to bringing the best food experience and concepts to Nigerians and Africans. We are inspired by this recognition and will continue in this light.”
Speaking on the anniversary, McMichael expressed excitement on the organisation’s growth in Nigeria over the years, attributing its success to all its stakeholders: “Our experience in Nigeria has been tremendously great. Not only have we grown as a company, we have evolved enough to be a huge contributor to the Nigerian economy as well as giving back to the society. We would like to say thank you to all of our loyal stakeholders whose impact and contribution has proven priceless to us as a company.”
Within its seven years in Nigeria, Eat‘N’Go has invested significantly in human capital development, contributing greatly to Nigeria’s labour market. The organisation, as part of its corporate social responsibility, has also partnered with Slum2School Africa, a volunteer-driven developmental organisation that provides quality education to disadvantaged children, to send 1,000 underserved children to school in Nigeria.