Monday, August 31, 2020 12:20 pm
It was his efforts (and that of the financial institution he heads) in the areas of agriculture, covid-19 response and climate change or carbon emission reduction that made the recognition possible. Access Bank PLC and its Group Managing Director, Herbert Wigwe, were recognised as winners of the ‘Agriculture Deal of the Year’ and ‘African Banker of the Year’ categories at the 2020 African Banker Awards.
Access Bank was awarded for its role in helping Olam develop their rice operations in Nigeria by using a model hinged on Sustainability. On the other hand, Wigwe was recognized for his efforts in leading Nigeria’s Private Sector COVID-19 response, encouraging other corporate climate change conscious business entities across the country to support the Federal Government of Nigeria towards the achievement of 25% unconditional and/or 40% conditional carbon emission reduction as agreed at the COP24 per the Sustainable Development Goals, amongst others.
Receiving the Agriculture Deal of the Year Award, Wigwe assured that Access Bank will continue to do further on Africa’s drive towards local food security, saying, “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.”
“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, Access Bank will continue to seek out avenues to innovatively improve our bottom lines and deliver greater value to all shareholders,” heconcluded.
Access Bank ranks as Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading retail bank in terms of customer base andWigwe 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 award ceremony which was pushed back to coincide with the African Development Annual Meetings sought to highlight the achievements of companies and individuals that have contributed to the transformation and development of Africa’s financial sector.
1.On Access Bank’s support for local food production: Olam International Limited on 14 July, 2014, celebrated the inauguration of its state-of-the-art rice mill at its rice farm in Nigeria’s Nasarawa State. As posted on world-grain.com , the integrated rice milling facility is situated at the heart of Olam’s 6,000-hectare greenfield irrigated and mechanized paddy farm, and will provide 36,000 tonnes of milled rice per year to the domestic market, contributing to the federal government’s goal to improve rice self-sufficiency.
2.Access Bank and COVID-19 response or Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID). According to reports, CACOVID was the brainchild of Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc and Aliko Dangote, Founder and Chairman of Dangote Industries Ltd and
3. On the environmental objective of the Federal Government which Access supports, Goal 13, accordin to the United Nations, calls for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. “It is intrinsically linked to all 16 of the other Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To address climate change, countries adopted the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.”