From Halima Abdulkadir and Fatima Bukar, Abuja
This year’s Access Bank Polo Day, held at the prestigious Guards Polo Club, Windsor, United Kingdom was one of the prominent initiatives sponsored by The Access Bank UK, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Access Bank Plc in its drive to aid educational and social development in the communities the bank serves.
Over $2.2m (N800 million) was raised in pledges to build new school classrooms that will provide continuous education for an estimated under privileged and displaced children in the northern part of Nigeria over the next 5 years.
An auction of contemporary African Art by Bonhams also raised over $30,000 that will go towards classrooms and student equipment.
Access Bank UK Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Jamie Simmonds said: “the way in which we balance our economic, environmental and social impact while continuing to grow our business and enhance our reputation is an area of key importance for us”.
“This year we have grown our balance sheet by 26 percent and increased year on year profits by 76 per cent. Our achievements owe much to the strong partnership we have with our parent bank. “Our joint support of this new decade of the ACCESS Bank Group\UNICEF Charity Shield with Fifth Chukker in Kaduna is evidence of the social and economic value of that partnership,” he added.
Group Managing Director of Access Bank PiC and Chairman of The Access Bank UK Ltd, Herbert Wigwe, said: “In a year that marks the end of its’ 9th full year of trading, the bank has gone from strength to strength, despite the long-lasting worldwide financial and economic challenges that have followed on from the global crisis of 2008.”
The charity shield, sponsored by Access Bank and hosted by the Fifth Chukker Polo Club in Kaduna has helped many children in northern Nigeria and around the world, by inviting international polo stars and local clubs from around the country.
Also, the partnership between the club and the bank has resulted in a tournament for ladies, which lends its voice to the fight against cancer.