Fidelity Bank Plc has been adjudged the “Best Telecoms Financing Bank” in Nigeria. The bank emerged tops among three banks that were nominated for the award at the 8th Annual Nigerian Telecom Awards which took place at the Incubator Event Center, Victoria Island, Lagos at the weekend. Other banks nominated were Access Bank Plc and First Bank Plc who emerged first and second runners-up respectively in the Banking and Financial Services category.
The organisers of the Award said that Fidelity Bank was recognized for its overall contribution to total loans and advances to Information & Communication Technology (ICT) and Telecommunications sectors. In their assessment, the portion of the bank’s support to ICT within the period under review clearly surpassed those of its competitors. The panel of judges made up of renowned Telecoms industry operators and Journalists looked at major indices like the sector credit share, sector concentration and loan portfolio in IT and Telecoms projects and finance before arriving at the final decision to pick the most outstanding financing bank in Nigeria.
Receiving the award on behalf of Fidelity Bank, Mr. John Obi, Executive Director, Corporate Banking thanked the organizers of the Award for their work which he believed would generate more interest in the industry. He said that the award is not only an indication of the bank’s commitment to the Telecoms sector but also its strong belief in the local economy. “This is proof of the level of hardwork we are putting in the Telecom Division of Corporate Banking. We are committed to the development of the industry and the economy at large.” He dedicated the award to the staff of the bank for their hardwork and commitment to the Fidelity Mission of making financial services easy and accessible; as well as their belief in the long-term viability of the Nigerian economy.
Fidelity Bank won the Euromoney Project Finance Telecommunications Deal Award of the Year 2011 when together with four other banks, it funded Etisalat’s $650 million digital infrastructure, which arguably was the largest project financing in Nigeria in 2011. Project Magazine Deal of the Year Awards recognized the best European and African Deals. The Magazine praised the courage displayed by the banks’ decision to work with a comparatively new entrant in the nation’s GSM market. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi explained that the bank was driven by the passion it had on credible long term but sustainable investments since the inception of the bank. ”We see it as a national challenge which we must meet because experience has shown that all over the world, every economy is supported by its people and their institutions.” Ihejiahi added that ”our commitment can be seen by the number and value of the projects we have financed over the years despite the challenges our industry faced”.
Specifically, Ihejiahi said that the bank’s heavy financial support to the industrial sector in the past one year showed its unwavering commitment to efforts aimed at revamping the Nigerian economy. This year’s award makes it the second time the Fidelity Bank is clinching the trophy, having won it earlier in 2008.
The event was witnessed by high-ranking public officers, including the Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, former Ogun State Governor Chief Olusegun Osoba, former Minister of Communication, Dr. Halilu Bello, founding Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, and a host of others.
The Nigerian Telecoms Awards is an annual event aimed at recognizing excellence and encouraging best practices in the country’s telecoms industry.