Fidelity Bank Plc has been adjudged “SME Support Bank of the Year 2016” at the Independent Man of the Year Award ceremony, in Lagos.
According to the organizers, it was in recognition of its outstanding contribution to economic growth and development in Nigeria, particularly the challenging environment for small businesses.
The organizer- Independent Newspapers affirmed the bank’s outstanding support for the country’s Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Meanwhile, at the presentation of prizes to winners for the fifth draw of “Fidelity Get Alert” promo in Lagos at the weekend, the lender said that beyond its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, support for the financial inclusion strategy of government and impressing savings culture on Nigerians are reasons for the series of rewards.
At the event, Ifeanyichukwu Okenwa from Saka Tinubu branch in Lagos, was given N1 million cheque, while Charles Igwe and Okonjo Chukweabuka, went home with a refrigerator and generating set respectively.
Speaking at the ceremony witnessed by representatives of National Lottery Regulatory Commission, and Consumer Protection Council, the bank’s Executive Director, Shared Services, Mrs. Chijioke Ugochukwu, said the winning brought the total cash prizes given out to N49 million to 72 customers, including consolation prizes.
She said that there is no loser in the initiative, but a mutually beneficial relationship fostered between the customer and the bank, adding that if customers prosper, it would be to the interest of the bank.
Urging customers key into the promo. She said that N56 million and consolation prizes are still available for subsequent lucky winners till May this year.
However, the General Manager, Managed SMEs Division, Kenneth Opara, who received the award on behalf of the bank, said the bank has worked so hard in supporting the SME sector.
According to him, while most financial institutions avoid financing SMEs, terming it a highly risky segment, Fidelity Bank has found creative ways of lending profitably to micro and small businesses in Nigeria.
To him, it is because the lender realized that SMEs are the backbone of any successful economy, hence there is need to support small businesses to grow, increase their relevance and competitiveness across the globe.
“We have now been selected as one of the pilots of the CBN’s Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme. We also run an Export Management Programme, currently in its fourth stream, to help entrepreneurs who have exportable products to expand their markets abroad,” he said.