Bank chair leads panel discussion on ‘African Champions: The Road to the Global Top 500’
By Ada Anioji
First Bank of Nigeria Limited, the FBNHoldings’ flagship subsidiary and Nigeria’s most valuable bank brand has partnered with the Group Jeune Afrique and Rainbow Unlimited at the fifth edition of the Africa CEO Forum 2017 themed “Rethinking Africa’s business model”.
According to African business analysts, the imperative of rethinking the continent’s business processes at this time cannot be over-stated, given the spate of negative headwinds that the African economy is presently experiencing.
The event which took place on March 20 – 21, 2017 at Geneva convened over 1,000 African and international figures from diverse industries and politics to discuss strategic insights and changes that must be made for the sustainable growth and development of the African Economy.
The Africa CEO Forum is one of the foremost international African business conferences for developmental debates around the economic and industrial challenges facing the African continent whilst proffering sustainable solutions to mitigate such challenges through exchange of views and opinions on the issues affecting the development of African companies and economies.
This year’s edition of the Africa CEO forum keenly evaluated the role of women in African enterprise as one of its sub-themes, deliberating on the leadership of African Women and the best tools to spur the development of a new generation of African women leaders. The Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika was part of the high-level panel which discussed the topic “Women and Companies: Building Strength in Unity”. The panel explored the benefits of Women Leadership as well as the barriers inhibiting their rise within African companies.
The Group Chairman, FBN Holdings Plc, Oba Otudeko, CFR, led the panel deliberating on “African Champions: The Road to the Global Top 500” on day two of the forum. According to Otudeko, creating global champions of African Companies has to be a conscious and deliberate plan, with public and private partnerships to create an informed leadership that will continue to dialogue and provide direction. The panel also deliberated on the key issues inhibiting African companies within the global economy and the key steps African Champions can take to join the global leaders club.
First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is Nigeria’s premier and most valuable banking brand, and largest financial services institution by total assets and gross earnings. With more than 12 million customer accounts, FirstBank has over 750 branches providing a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services. The Bank has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as its Representative Offices in Johannesburg, Beijing and Abu Dhabi.
Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimized risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.
FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row – 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 – by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; and “Most Innovative Bank in Africa” in the EMEA Finance African Banking Awards 2014. Recently, for the fifth consecutive time, the Bank clinched the “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” award by The Asian Banker.
FBN’s Oba Otudeko and MTN’s Phutuma Nhleko at the event