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By Trek Africa Newspaper

Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, FirstBank (eighth right) with graduands of the fourth edition of the FirstBank Senior Management Development Programme (SMDP), held recently at Oriental Hotels, Lagos.



The SMDP is an intensive skill development programme structured to enhance core leadership and business competencies of selected senior management staff within the Bank and 20 successful participants were graduated in the recently concluded fourth edition.

SMDP is one of the three core leadership programmes aimed at internally identifying and developing high-potential talents positioned to take up the mantle of the next generation of the Banks leaders. Leadership Acceleration Programme (LAP) and FirstBank Management Associate Programme (FMAP) are the others.

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigerias premier and leading financial services provider, has announced the graduation of 20 successful participants in the fourth edition of its Senior Management Development Programme (SMDP) at an event held recently at Oriental Hotel, Lagos.

Before the 2023 graduation, the SMDP had produced 52 graduates. The Bank successfully graduated 23 participants in its inaugural edition, held in 2018; 17 in 2019 and 12 in 2020.

The Senior Management Development Programme (SMDP) is FirstBanks intensive modular programme for a select group of senior managers to principal managers who are proven leaders in their respective functions and identified as central to the Banks succession plan.

The SMDP is an intensive skill development programme structured to enhance core leadership and business competencies of elite senior management staff within the Bank. It consists of three instructor-led modular periods adopting a blend of classroom lectures, experiential activities, flipped learning strategies and peer-to-peer discussions to develop the desired talent pool.

“This programme is one of FirstBanks key initiatives designed to create a dependable pool of highly skilled, favourably competitive, and globally minded Senior Managers. It is also aimed at accelerating their journey through the very demanding process of becoming outstanding leaders and management executives, said Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO of FirstBank Group.

FirstBank is widely acclaimed for sound corporate governance and this programme is further proof of our commitment to grooming and development. Through the Senior Management Development Programme, we emphasise sound leadership as the ethos and language of Bankwide conversations; this provides an empirical means of guaranteeing the Banks leadership bench strength both for now and the future, he concluded.

The Senior Management Development Programme (SMDP) is among the three core leadership programmes and strategic approaches designed to sustain performance, build capacity and promote the empowerment of employees from the lower cadres to the upper levels. The other programmes are Leadership Acceleration Programme and FirstBank Management Associate Programme (FMAP).

These programmes aim at internally identifying and developing high-potential talents who could take up the mantle of being the next generation of the Banks leaders, thereby building on its over 129 years of heritage since its founding.

About FirstBank

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for 129 years.

With over 750 business locations and over 215538 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 41 million customers. The Bank has an international presence with subsidiaries operating in 9 other countries. These subsidiaries are FirstBank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FirstBank in The Gambia, FirstBank in Sierra-Leone, FirstBank in the Republic of Congo, FirstBank in Guinea, FBNBank in Ghana, FBNBank in Senegal as well as a Representative Office in Beijing, China. The Bank is at the forefront of promoting digital banking in the country and has issued over 12 million cards, the first bank to achieve such a milestone.

FirstBank has continued to make significant investments in technology, innovation and transformation, and its cashless transaction drive has been steadily accentuated with almost 22 million active FirstBank customers signed up on digital channels including the USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code.

FirstBanks commitment to Diversity is shown in its policies, partnerships and initiatives, such as its employees ratio of female to male (about 39%:61%; and 32% women in management) as well as the FirstBank Women Network, an initiative that seeks to address the gender gap and increase the participation of women at all levels within the organization. In addition, the Banks membership of the UN Women is an affirmation of a deliberate policy that is consistent with UN Womens Women Empowerments Principles – Equal Opportunity, Inclusion, and Nondiscrimination.

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 Governments privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities available in Nigeria an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.

For six consecutive years (2011 2016), FirstBank was named Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria by the globally renowned The Banker Magazine of the Financial Times Group and Best Retail Bank in Nigeria eight times in a row, 2011 – 2018, by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards.

Notably, in 2022, the Bank took a long stride on its growth trajectory with the Banks Viability and Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings upgraded to ‘B’ from ‘B-‘ (with Outlooks Stable) by Fitch, a leading global rating agency. This is an indication of the Banks strong internal capital generation and the corresponding recession of its risks to capitalisation. Fitch also upgraded the Banks National Long-Term Ratings to ‘A (nga)’ from ‘BBB (nga)’, to reflect its improved creditworthiness relative to that of other issuers in Nigeria. Furthermore, the Top 100 African Bank rankings 2022 released by The Banker Magazine revealed FirstBanks ranking as number one in Nigeria in terms of Overall Performance, Profitability, Efficiency and Return on Risk.

Other laudable feats in 2022 include FirstBanks international recognitions on major indices by Euromoney Market Leaders, an independent global assessment of the leading financial service providers where FirstBank was crowned:

Market Leader: (tier-1 recognition) in Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR),
Market Leader: (tier -1 recognition) Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG),
Highly Regarded: in Corporate Banking and Digital Solutions,
Notable: in SME Banking.

Also, in 2022 International Finance Magazine named the Bank Most Innovative Banking Product in Nigeria and Best Retail Bank in Nigeria. FirstBank was also awarded Best Corporate Banking Western Africa, 2022 and Best CSR Bank Western Africa, 2022 by Global Banking and Finance Magazine. Other notable awards in FirstBank coffers include: Best Bank in Nigeria by Global Finance magazine – fifteen times in a row; Best Private Bank in Nigeria-2021 awarded by Global Finance magazine; Best Internet Banking Nigeria and Best CSR Bank Africa by International Business Magazine.

In 2023, FirstBank has received notable awards including “Best Private Bank for Sustainable Investing in Africa 2023 by Global Finance Awards; Best Sustainable Bank in Nigeria 2023 by International Investors Awards; Best Bespoke Banking Services in Nigeria 2023 by International Investors Awards; Best Financial Inclusion Service Provider in Nigeria 2023 by Digital Banker Africa; and African Bank of the Year by African Leadership Magazine.

Our vision is To be Africas Bank of first choice and our mission is To remain true to our name by providing the best financial services possible. This commitment is anchored on our core values of EPIC – Entrepreneurship, Professionalism, Innovation and Customer-Centricity. Our strategic ambition is To deliver accelerated growth in profitability through customer-led innovation and disciplined execution and our brand promise is always to deliver the ultimate gold standard of value and excellence to position You First in every respect.


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