Success and recognition in one’s business or engagement are the hallmarks of someone who knows exactly what he is doing and remains focused on it. This could well be the apt statement to describe the latest development that oozes out of the stable of Nigeria’s numero uno financial services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, as its very officious, enigmatic, resilient and multiple-award winning Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Adesola Kazeem Adeduntan, among other eminent award honorees, was decorated amidst pomp and ceremony with the prestigious Forbes Best of Africa Award. The award presentation was held on Friday, 11 September 2020 at a virtual event by Forbes, in conjunction with the Foreign Investment Network (FIN.) The online roundtable discussion held in commemoration of the award presentation, themed “Harnessing the financial resources and social capital of philanthropy to making a lasting impact,” was supported by the World Philanthropy Network, featuring a keynote address by former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (GCFR,) while the opening remarks were presented by Mrs. Olayinka Fayomi, Chairman, Foreign Investment Network (FIN.) Discussants at the event were by Baroness Osamor Martha, incumbent Member of Parliament, UK; H. E. Prince Dapo Abiodun, Executive Governor of Ogun State, Nigeria; Sir. Chief Kessington Adebutu, Chairman, Premier Lotto and H.E Zulfiquar Ghadiyali, Director at the Royal Office of Sheikh Tahnoon Al Nayhan Abu Dhabi; Mrs. Onikepo Akande, former Minister of Trade and Industry, Nigeria, amongst many others, while the closing remarks were made by Mr. Nick Kochan, Managing Partner Foreign Investment Network (FIN.) Appreciating his award with visible excitement, Dr. Adeduntan said, “I am truly humbled to receive the Forbes Best of Africa Award and I am grateful to the Forbes team for this coveted recognition and award. I owe profound gratitude to our customers; and to the Board, Management and Staff of First Bank of Nigeria Limited and all our Subsidiaries, for their cooperation in delivering the best to our esteemed customers and shareholders, and ensuring that we give back to the society in which we have sustained our business for over 126 years. This Forbes Best of Africa award is an incentive to do more in Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability as Africa’s bank of first choice. Therefore, I dedicate this award to my colleagues at FirstBank and its subsidiaries, who are fully committed to our quest to remain truly beyond comparison – a haven of resilience, trust, safety, security, excellent corporate governance, entrepreneurship, professionalism, innovation and customer-centricity,“ he enthused. According to a statement by Forbes, “Adesola Adeduntan believes strongly in the importance of doing well by doing good. In March 2020 he spoke at the Edinburgh School of Business about financial institutions’ role as drivers of financial inclusion. In his leadership role at First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank), Adeduntan is part of a 126-year legacy of sustained development-oriented services. FirstBank is the region’s foremost financial inclusion services provider.” The Forbes’ Best of Africa Award is for business personalities with a record of creating and building great global businesses that have made far-reaching contributions to the development of Africa. Only recently the astute FirstBank boss was eminently conferred with yet another prestigious award at The Cranfield Alumnus 2020 Award by Cranfield School of Management Alumni and The African Banking Personality of the Year 2019 by African Leadership Magazine. First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and has been the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 125 years. With over 750 business locations and over 57,000 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 15 million customers. 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 a Representative Office in Beijing. Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers, focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised 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. To boot, FirstBank has variously been named the “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” for six consecutive times – 2011 – 2016 by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years; (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. All these are to say the least can be attributed to the financial and management wizardry and expertise of Dr. Adeduntan at the helm of affairs of the bank, in active collective team work team of management and the entire workforce of the high-flying bank, which posits that its brand purpose is to always put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of its business, even as it standardizes customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with its brand vision.
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