First Bank of Nigeria Ltd. said it would enhance its Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CR&S) initiatives in education to ensure growth and development of the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, said this on Wednesday at the bank’s webinar with the theme: “Education- Does Kindness have a role?” to mark the CS&R week.
Adeduntan said the bank would continue to demonstrate passion for education and an unwavering commitment to ensuring quality standards of learning.
“Education is one of the most powerful things in life that helps us to find a meaning to everything and creates the platform to break barriers.
“This is why kindness as a virtue and value, has to take its roots in the minds of everyone and when it is imbibed as a way of life, it permeates every aspect of the human existence and interactions, making learning richer,” he said.
He said the bank did extremely well in CR&S in 2020 in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and would continue to be an integral part of the society where it operated.
Adeduntan said the bank migrated about one million students to virtual learning at the peak of COVID-19 in partnership with Lagos State Government, IBM and Microsoft.
“At FirstBank, empathy is at the core of our brand promise and we care about the mental well-being of every individual.
“There is no gainsaying that a mentally balanced student will perform excellently and make a wholesome community,” he added.
According to him, the theme resonates with the core strategic pillars of the bank’s CR&S which are: Education, Health and Welfare, Financial Inclusion and Responsible Lending and Procuement.
“Every year, as part of our corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives, FirstBank undertakes projects under the SPARK (Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness) initiative.
“We create public awareness on the importance of people showing acts of kindness to others.
“We solicit the support of all our staff for all of us to make a difference in the lives of the less privileged, irrespective of our religion, geography, it’s just so important to show kindness to the less privileged,” Adeduntan said.
Also speaking, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, commended FirstBank for the initiatives aimed at showing kindness to the society.
Adefisayo said the bank had supported the state in the development of the education sector, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown by giving learning devices to students in remote communities.
She urged other institutions to learn from the bank by showing kindness and giving back to the society.
The commissioner noted that the bank’s kindness had yielded unimaginable results in the lives of those students.
Prof. Liz Grant, University of Edinburgh, the keynote speaker, said the pandemic had caused a lot of challenge to the world.
Grant said people must learn to show kindness irrespective of the challenges, noting that humans and the planet were made together for a purpose.
She said kindness should be endless because everyone deserved to be treated with civility, compassion and respect.
“We believe we can build a world filled with kindness; make kindness a way of life, compassion, civility and charity,” Grant added.