ZENITH BANK: Adding value to today, supporting future dreams
Nigeria is the most populous black nation on earth. Approximately, the country has a growing youthful population. In spite this, Nigeria still battles with unemployment and under-employment due to over dependent on imported goods and government policies not tilted towards employment generation. Over the years, Nigerians especially the youths who are naturally industrious have always have headway in sporting activities, entertainment and the creative industries, Zenith Bank Plc is blazing the trail in this regard with unmatched support.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in December 2018, the country’s unemployment rate rose from 18.1 percent in 2017 to 23.1 percent in September 2018. By implication, the growing population of Nigerian youth is getting jobless, unemployed under-employed.
To get out of this jungle of unemployment, youths with creative minds delve into fashion, entertainment and sports. These industries are also lucrative in their right yet, to breakeven into these industries need mentorship, sponsorship and being at the right place at the right time.
To this end Zenith Bank Plc has taken to supporting young and creative minds to find their feet in these industries. In sports, the bank is supporting states to revive grassroots sporting competition to discover and groom young talents and put them on the path to self-discovery.
In Akwa Ibom state, Zenith bank is sponsoring the Principals’ Cup, a football competition that has long been forgotten but has now been revived with Zenith bank as the sponsor. The 2019 edition that is expected to start later this month is tagged “Zenith Bank Akwa Ibom State Principals’ Cup”.
The Commissioner for Youths and Sports in the state, Monday Uko appreciated Zenith Bank for identifying with the surge of sports in the state while also describing the bank as “a top player when it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility”.
It is of little or no doubt that the commitment of Zenith Bank to sports in the state would also record success just as it does in other states. Plans are in top gear to take over the primary school football competition in Delta state following the success recorded over the year in sports sponsorship.
This development in Delta State is coming at a time when the bank took over the Principal Cup. The Managing Director of the bank, Ebeneza Onyegwu who was represented by the Zonal Head of the bank in Asaba, Lucky Ighade, at the Kickoff ceremony of the 2019 Zenith Bank/Delta Principals’ Cup said that all is set but the bank would announce the new partnership soon.
He expressed confidence in the continuous partnership on the Principals’ Cup. He said that the bank would be taking over the Headmasters’ Cup, which is the football competition for the primary school categories in the state.
“We are working on taking over the Headmasters’ Cup, I will say we should consider it done, we are just trying to work out the modalities,” he said. He also said that the bank would be discussing with the state government other sporting activities like the athletics.
“We are in it for good and just the Headmasters’ Cup, we are already discussing with the state in the area of athletics and other sports. This is something we are expected to do, we are proud to be associated with the Principals Cup. We are happy with the standard exhibited by the teams. It has been a wonderful partnership.
“We are just pleading for the standard to be maintained because anything Zenith Bank involves with, we always want credibility, fairness and just.” He also said that their involvement is aimed at making the youth better.
In the area of entertainment, last September, the bank hosted an entertainment event for its customers. The event was tagged “Zenith Bank Aspire Music Festival” was held in Lagos. The music festival featured raves of the moment in the entertainment industry like YBNL boss, Olamide, Flavour, Phyno, Niniola, Mayokun and Rema. The festival was a night to remember for customers who were in attendance as they were treated to captivating and thrilling musical performances by these artistes. Also comedian Kenny Blaq was on ground to rack ribs.
In spite the magnitude of the event, the festival, according to the bank is one of a series of events outlined to usher in the annual lifestyle fair, “Style by Zenith 2.0 that would be held by the end of the year.
The intervention of the bank in adding value to the lives of Nigerians through support for youthful endeavours has in no small measure placed the bank in a frontline position of Corporate Social Responsibility. A feat, other corporate institutions can also take as a challenge.