Access Bank and its staff are in a jubilant mood as you are reading this .
The bank has emerged multiple Award Winners in the 2020 African Banker Awards.
While the bank’s Group Managing Director, Herbert Wigwe, was named African Banker of the Year, Access Bank itself was winner of the ‘Agriculture Deal of the Year’ category at the 2020 African Banker Awards held virtually last Wednesday, but with a mini gathering in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, to coincide with the annual meetings of the African Development Bank, AfDB, the High Patron and sponsor of the prestigious award.
Mr. Wigwe was recognized for his efforts in leading Nigeria’s Private Sector COVID-19 response and encouraging other corporate entities across Nigeria to support the Federal Government towards the achievement of 25% unconditional and/or 40% conditional carbon emission reduction as agreed under the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG.
On the other hand, Access Bank won the Agriculture Deal of the Year award for its role in helping Olam Rice Farm develop their rice operations in Nigeria by using a model hinged on sustainability, Mr. Wigwe said, while receiving the Agriculture Deal of the Year Award, that Access Bank will continue to further Africa’s drive towards local food security.
“We are particularly inspired by this recognition, as it vindicates our approach to running our organisation and indeed, our approach to doing business.”
“As an institution striving to be ‘Africa’s Gateway to the World’, Access Bank is delighted at our capacity to create a platform that furthers Nigeria’s drive towards the achievement of financial inclusion, local food security, increased employment, improved water resource efficiency, among others”, he continued.
“In addition to aligning future projects with the Federal Government’s agenda of promoting agriculture as an alternative to oil, conserving foreign exchange through import substitution, and enhancing the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, the MD said Access Bank will continue to seek out avenues to innovatively improve our bottom lines and deliver greater value to all shareholders.”
Access Bank ranks as Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading retail bank in terms of customer base and Wigwe has been at the helm of the bank’s growth, overseeing the merger with Diamond Bank as well as leading the Bank’s expansion into Cameroon, Zambia and most recently, Kenya.
The African Banker’s Awards recognise African banks that have demonstrated original and practical uses of technology to provide customer convenience, improved and more affordable services and greater access to the financial services sector in Africa.
Full roll call of winners of the 2020 Award for Innovation in Financial Services from the African Banker Magazine:
African Banker of the Year: Herbert Wigwe – Access Bank, Nigeria
African Bank of the Year: Trade and Development Bank
Investment Bank of the Year: Citi
Award for Financial Inclusion: Kenya Women Microfinance
Innovation in Financial Services Award: Ecobank Group
Socially Responsible Bank of the Year: Equity Bank, Kenya
Best Regional Bank – North Africa: CIB Egypt
Best Regional Bank – Southern Africa: Moza Banco
Best Regional Bank – East Africa: Equity Bank
Best Regional Bank – West Africa: Coris Bank
Best Regional Bank – Central Africa: BGFI
Finance Minister of the Year: Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed – Minister of Finance, Budget & Planning of Nigeria
African Banker Icon: Vivien Shobo – Former CEO, Agusto & Co
Lifetime Achievement Award: Ahmed Abdelkefi – Founder, Tuninvest Finance Group
Central Bank Governor of the Year: Caroline Abel – Central Bank Governor of Seychelles
Deal of the Year – Equity: MTN Nigeria IPO – Chapel Hill Denham
Deal of the Year – Debt: Bank of Industry €1bn syndicated loan facility – BOI/ Afreximbank/Credit Suisse
Infrastructure Deal of the Year: Port of Maputo – Standard Bank
Energy Deal of the Year: Renewable Energy Bond – Nedbank
Agriculture Deal of the Year: Olam Rice Farm – Access Bank
SME Bank of the Year: Bank of Industry, Nigeria