Heritage Bank partners Vanguard Media to drive inclusive economic growth

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Heritage Bank Limited, Nigeria’s most innovative banking service provider, has partnered with Vanguard Media to organise the 2019 edition of its economic discourse in a bid to achieve inclusive economic development in the country. The theme of the discourse is Human Capital Index versus Economic Growth, Nigeria’s policy options. The discourse was informed by the recent World Bank Group ranking of Nigeria 152 out of 157 countries on its first-ever Human Capital Index. Also, the Brookings Institution said Nigeria had overtaken India as the nation with the highest number of extremely poor people. The report showed that about 87 million Nigerians are in extreme poverty, with six Nigerians falling into extreme poverty every minute. Data from National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, showed that the number of unemployed Nigerians rose by 3.3 million or 19 per cent to 20.9 million in third quarter of 2018 (Q3 ’18) from 17.6 million in third quarter of 2017 (Q3 ’17). The discourse was therefore organised for economic experts to proffer solutions to the problems confronting the economy such that government would be able align the nation’s economic with that of human capital development.

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank, Mr. Ifie Sekibo said they decided to partner with the organisers to achieve inclusive growth in the economy. Sekibo who was also one of the discussants at the event noted that there was need to deal with the energy problem confronting the country because it accounted for about 35 percent of overheads of banks. He also said the minimum wage would increase liquidity and money supply and lead to inflation, a development which will make the Central Bank of Nigeria to mop up the excess money through Open Money Operation (OMO).

Also speaking as a discussant, Director-General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said because of inadequate resources available to the Federal Government to adequately fund human capital development vis-à-vis economic development, government should grant complete tax holiday to private operators in the educational and health sectors to enable them to complement the efforts of government. He observed that there was need to grow investments in a bid to grow revenue.

Also contributing, Mr. Doyin Salami, an economist and former member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the CBN noted that there was need for inclusive government for human capital to grow in tandem with economic development. He also said there was need to set target like other developed economies such as China and focused on achieving it, remarking that because there is capital deficiency in the economy, there is need to encourage the private sector to invest in the economy.

Earlier in his keynote address, Mr. Fola Adeola, former Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank, had identified 12 giant evils plaguing the Nigerian economy. They include hunger, disease, voidness, illiteracy, corruption, aimlessness, ignorance, visionless, directionless, crookedness, insecurity as well fear of exploitation. He said there was need to systematically and comprehensively deal with those evils for the inclusive growth of human capital and economic development.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

L-R: GoodLuck Linda, WOSSA Chief Welfare officer; Helen Unabor, WOSSA Chief Protocol officer; Olawale Osundele, Regional Head, Lagos Island 1, Lagos Island 1 Zone, Heritage Bank; Amb. Tayo Thomas, President of WOSSA; Dame Jennifer Omotayo-Thomas, Vice president, WOSSA and John Adah, Team Member, Corporate Communications, Heritage Bank, during the award ceremony held in Lagos to mark this year’s International Widows Day themed: Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”

PRESS RELEASE

Heritage Bank supports over 500 widows, receives UN Award for Humanitarian Service 

Heritage Bank received the 2022 United Nations Award for Humanitarian Service from the Widows & Orphans Support Society of Nigeria (WOSSA), as no fewer than 500 widows and orphans in Lagos State benefitted from the Bank’s support. 

This was made known during the award ceremony held in Lagos to mark this year’s International Widows Day themed: Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”.

The event was an opportunity to recognize Heritage Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) roles to widows, their children and other less privileged within the society.

Speaking during the awards presentation, Founder, Widows & Orphans Support Society of Nigeria (WOSSA), Ambassador Tayo Thomas, said Heritage Bank is one of the group’s key partners and has for years shown massive support to the widows. 

He said: ” Basically, we are giving this award to people and organizations that have been supporting the less privileged widows. These are our partners, they have been doing great service to humanity, especially service the less privileged widows in meeting their financial needs and those of their children”. 

Continuing, he said: “The United Nations Humanitarian Award is to appreciate and acknowledge them for their support to the less privileged widows. The United Nations Humanitarian Award is an award we give every 24th of June to those who have really supported the widows. Those who have joined us to fight against injustice against the widows. That is the reason for today”. 

Speaking at the event, Heritage Bank Regional Head, Lagos Island 1, Olawale Osundele, said the bank has for years, remained committed to improving people’s lives. 

He said: “It has always been one of our front liners to always improve the quality of people’s lives right from childhood. And today that they are marking the International Widow’s Day, we are also part of the support team to WOSSA in various aspects.”

“We have been supporting them in terms of providing quality education for children of widows to ensure that life after the death of their husband is still good to them and their children. We also support the children and orphans and the less privileged in the society,” he added.

According to Osundele, the bank’s support to the widows has always been a source of joy to them.  “It means that life still means a lot to them. You can see the joy in their faces. Despite what they are going through, they are still very happy and relevant in society,” he said. 

One of the widows at the event, Mrs. Felicia Ugwunwanne thanked Heritage Bank and WOSSA for their continuous support to the widows and less privileged. 

She said that WOSSA is through the support of partners such as Heritage Bank, making life better for the widows and their children. 

“The WOSSA has for years, been assisting so many of us, including our children and orphanages. WOSSA gives us cash, help some widows to pay their house rent, school fees for widows’ children, among other things,” she said.

Ugwunwanne said the widows under WOSSA are being trained for skills acquisition to improve the quality of their lives.

“I am aware that the WOSSA is working on securing loans from Microfinance Bank, and we have completed forms to achieve the purpose. Our members are prepared to access the loans. Some of the widows have gone to learn some skills that will enable them to invest and succeed in whatever craft or business they are doing so that they will not continue to depend on people,” she said. //END.//

Ozena Utulu, Ag. Group Head, Corporate Communications