At Fidelity Bank, we believe that organisations and the societies in which they do business are in a symbiotic relationship. This is why we have taken Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a core of our existence right from the inception of the bank over two decades ago.
Our aim is to be the best organisation in the area of CSR. That is why we have a Fidelity Helping Hands Programme through which we have initiated, developed and executed a good number of successful projects and sustainable initiatives.
As a bank, we are fortunate to have employees who are actively engaged in all our CSR activities. This commitment has in no small measure impacted positively on our host communities and the society at large.
In order to continue to expand our scope, the next phase is to actively engage our vendors/clients in our Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and efforts, hence giving them an opportunity to be involved with a Bank that is focused on giving back to the society.
While we believe that the government has a major role to play in fixing the myriads of problems in every community, we believe that private organisations and business enterprises can also partner government in solving these problems. This is where we come in as a responsible organisation. We believe that CSR in the community is like a wide farmland – every man chooses the acreage to till.
Our CSR drive as an organisation stands on a tripod:
- The Environment
- Health & Social Welfare
We believe that they are three key aspects of societal needs that we cannot afford to overlook. We have mechanisms in place and so many initiatives that are tailored towards meeting these needs. Our strong commitment to these needs explains why a significant part of our earnings as a bank is committed towards supporting structures, initiatives and life-transforming projects. This belief has been the driving force behind our support for various initiatives over the years. To achieve this noble objectives, we:
- Strive to reinforce strong, healthy Community Relations by identifying with host communities in activities that have meaning to them.
- Maintain high standards of Integrity in our relations with state governments and host communities.
- Strive to play a leading role by identifying with and seeking solutions to the problems of society especially those in our immediate operational environments.
To keep you abreast of the milestones we have reached in the aforementioned areas, we have chosen to talk about some of these achievements in detail.
Over the years, we have supported initiatives aimed at identifying and promoting the preservation, protection and beautification of the environment. This is executed on two fronts:
Fidelity Bank works in collaboration with public institutions – state and local governments – to create and maintain green parks in chosen locations. The beautification of the Falomo Roundabout in Lagos State, in partnership with the Lagos State Government, is a typical example of what the Bank seeks to achieve in this area. We have successfully executed several beautification projects across the country. Some of these projects include Onikan, Milverton, Dopemu and Matori Roundabouts in Lagos State; RSUT in Rivers State, Rangers Avenue junction in Enugu State, Mbaise Road in Imo State, Abia Towers in Umuahia, KrikaSama Roundabout in Maiduguri, Borno State; Secretariat junction, Ibadan, Oyo State; and Itam Peace Colon, Akwa Ibom State among others.
Environmental Protection and Renewal:
The Bank supports environmental advocacy groups like the Nigeria Conservative Foundation (NCF) in their advocacy programmes, one of which is the annual “Walk For Nature”. We also undertake green initiatives that assist the environment. In this regard, we have become the first, and perhaps, the only Bank in Nigeria that dispenses cash with recycled biodegradable cash bags instead of polyethylene bags used by others, which is destructive to the ecosystem. The Bank also assents to relevant international Accords and Protocols aimed at promoting sustainability, like the Equator Principles.
A literate populace is the bedrock for national development, hence we support initiatives that encourage education at all levels through several projects that enhance the quality and standard of education in the country.
In 2014, we supported the Annual Teachers Awards in which winners were selected through a rigorous and credible process. These winners received financial support for training and development up to the tune of N3,000,000 (three million naira only). In general, the annual award encourages teachers in our higher institutions across the country to keep to the ethics of the profession and approach their work with passion and dedication.
At other levels of education, we have provided immense support, including renovation of facilities and provision of classrooms and hostel furniture in many schools across the country including two class rooms at Zainab Dakingari Orphanage Home/School in Birnin Kebbi, construction of the Registry Block & Clinic Park Landscape in BSU, Makurdi, renovation & equipment of Boys Correction/Academic Centre, Oregun, Lagos; renovation of Daniel Akintode School, Abeokuta, etc. We also support educational empowerment of the banking community through our annual Financial Literacy programme.
The Fidelity International Creative Writing Workshop has also been another first from Fidelity Bank. This literary workshop has hosted the award-winning writers like Chimamanda Adichie, Tsitsi Dangaremba, Helon Habila and several other respected authors in and outside Africa. It is worthy of note that some other organisations who have had to marvel at the successes we have recorded in this area have also copied same. We believe that this is a very good way of encouraging our youth to imbibe the culture of reading and creative writing.
The Bank continues to support the cause of the less-privileged members of the community in their efforts to overcome disabilities and integrate with the larger society. We have worked with select groups like the Heart of Gold Hospices, African Cataract Foundation and the Sebeccly Cancer Care and Support Centre. Our strategy is to run a decentralised intervention scheme which ensures a national spread in the communities we support.
Fidelity Helping Hands Programme (FHHP)
The Fidelity Helping Hands Programme (FHHP) is the anchor on which our social advocacy initiatives rest. We are lucky to have staff that are passionate about positively impacting our environment anywhere and everywhere we find ourselves. We recognize that the bane of Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Relation practice is that it usually ends up as a “Head Office Function”. To avoid that, we have a structure that ensures that CSR is practiced at every level of the Bank. It challenges every location where we do business to identify a project that is relevant to the community and support that project. It also challenges us to be good, responsible and supportive members of every community where we operate.
Interactions with staff in various locations of the Bank show that most staff would like to contribute to charity and charitable projects from time to time. We give such staff and indeed, all staff, an opportunity by providing FHHP Accounts, Donation Boxes & Standing instruction forms in all our business outlets wherein their tokens may be dropped and subsequently used to touch lives around their immediate environments.
Through the FHHP, we are building generations of corporate leaders who recognize the importance of community service. Today, we have over 460 Volunteer Ambassadors (Helping Hand Ambassadors) who coordinate FHHP in our branches under the leadership of the Head, Corporate Social Responsibility Unit.
Some of the landmark projects we have initiated and executed include:
- EYE SURGERY AND TREATMENTS IN OFUNAMA COMMUNITY OF EDO STATE
- MOTORIZED BOREHOLE IN FUDAWA COMMUNITY IN JOS NORTH LGA
- ORPHANAGE HOME BIRNIN KEBBI – KEBBI STATE
- JUVENILLE WELFARE CENTRE – INDUCTEES-LAGOS
- BOYS CORRECTION CENTRE – INDUCTEES – LAGOS
- PORT HARCOURT PRISONS – INDUCTEES – SOUTH-SOUTH
- HOLY FAMILY ORPHANAGE, ENUGU – INDUCTEES – SOUTHEAST
- FREE EYE SURGERY & TREATMENTS IN OFUNAMA COMMUNITY, BENIN HUB
- MOTORIZED BOREHOLE, FUDAWA NORTH -JOS
- RENOVATION & EQUIPMENT OF BOYS CORRECTION CENTRE- OREGUN –LAGOS
- DANIEL AKINTODE SCHOOL RENOVATION-ABEOKUTA and lots more…
Our strides in CSR have been well acknowledged within the industry and beyond. We have received awards both nationally and internationally. In 2008, we were recognized as The Most Socially Responsible Bank in Africa by the African Banker Magazine at the World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington DC. In 2009, 2012 and 2013, we won the SERA Award for CSR in Nigeria. This is a testament to our relentless effort channelled towards making our communities better than we met them.
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