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Abdul Imoyo: The PR Behind Access Bank’s Effective Communication

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Abdul Imoyo is a seasoned Public Relations and communicator who brings industriousness and jovial aggressiveness deep to bear.

As the head, Media Relations at Access Bank Plc, Abdul has a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from Lagos State University and a Masters of Administration from the University of Lagos (Unilag).

He has responsibility for the Access Bank brand, is an enigma in the banking industry especially when it comes to customer relations with all vigor, astuteness, and applicable understanding of the system, foremost he is disarmingly unassuming.

Abdul Imoyo took Waka About Africa through his role with Access bank in a very straightforward but also tasking however the way and manner he goes about it with all ease give the infectious sense of responsibility.

Abdul heads the Public Relations and Media Relations Desk, which is called the PR and Media Relations Unit.

It has to do with engaging the stakeholders especially the press, shareholders, customers, the public, government even the community because most of the time you find out that you need to pass information to the community where you operate in. His job entails managing information and ensuring that the right information is passed on to the public through the right channels.

Abdul revealed to Waka About Africa, that yeah, “the job is exciting and interesting in the sense that, given by my background, first and foremost, I’m a journalist, so, I think I enjoyed a lot of goodwill from my colleagues out there.

Mainly, maybe because of the relationship that we’ve enjoyed, before I crossed over to this side, I think so far, it’s been interesting, because, as I said, I’m enjoying that goodwill, from my friends and colleagues in the media that makes my job easier. Also, the bank has been very supportive too, because they give me all I need to make my work easier. It’s been easy from both sides, I’m enjoying it.

Therefore I wouldn’t want to take it for granted for any reason whatsoever”.

“I have passion for the job that I do, coming from my background as a journalist, and now still working with the same media stakeholders in a core critical and challenging role; and ability to function in an environment that allows me to express myself, empowering me with all that is required to deliver”.

Speaking to Waka About Africa on his typical day, he said thus, “I work around the clock is 24/7, because these days Journalism I don’t know if it ever sleeps, is more now like round-the-clock kind of, there is print, TV, radio, there is online news on the go and others. So my work is 24/7 because even as I’m here now, my bosses expect me to know what is going on.

Like, right now, I should be able to know if there is news about us, where the news is coming from, you have to be in the mind of like a million people to know what they are thinking, what they are going to write about us.

It’s also been good for me, because of my background in journalism, he recalls.

“I wake up to come to the office, do news review all-round check many industry news, know the one that relates to us and where we notice people feel that there are some concerns about us, we try to address it and at the same time, we still push out the good news about us because it has to be good for us to attract investors, for us to attract customers because we get a lot of quires from some of the investors and stakeholders especially when they feel the news are not too good they want to know whether it’s true or false how are we addressing it”.

On what area of his job he finds most challenging and interesting as well, hear him “What I find more challenging is when I wake up in the morning I see news that is not too palatable, especially coming from maybe people that I think knows better, or people that I think have access to me that should have at least try to cross-check. I’m not saying don’t write but let’s balance it.

You can come to me and say I have this information, what do you have to say about it, or what’s your own side of the story. I’ve seen people come to me with their own personal stories they want to paint it like it’s from somewhere else or they got it from somewhere, when I try to look into it and what they want to write.

They will come up maybe with a different example of someone else and they are charging unsolicited deduction, I’ll say, please send me the details and when you look through the details, you will find out it is this same person is all about him, and he was trying to paint it or make it look like is a general problem, maybe because I’ve done the job before so I expect that you should even know what is news.

People come to you with the something news kind of and you would even be wondering, the question will be are you supposed to be doing this job like this, at this point, but you can’t blame them that is what the job they have to do and at the same time, another thing is, I know there’s a deadline in journalism, but you’re coming to me with something exclusive, even me I don’t have the information on the go.

I need to get back to someone in the senior management to give me the details, and you’re telling me you have one hour to write the story, I’m like, it’s exclusive to you and when is exclusive I don’t see the rush, but these days, you just see people who want to do the story like it’s yesterday while is not breaking news.

When a story is exclusive to you then its exclusiveness gives you enough time to get the facts so that you can come out with a good story.

When someone is calling me at 3′ pm to tell me that he has to get the story out by 5 pm, I’ll tell you that even the person that is going to give me the information may probably not be in the office or even around.

Maybe even the man who also may get it may need some information from somewhere else to be able to do it well, I advise you to just wait to get the facts so that it will be a balanced story.

Those are some of the challenges we are addressing and we try to manage as well as to get people to understand that we need each other, you need me, I need you but I wouldn’t tell you not to write but if you don’t go out with the right information, it hurts me, and at the same time it will hurt you because it gives you credibility if you do a good story.

I think people can see through it and say it’s a good story you have done, but if you just do it anyway, it also has an impact on your own reputation and the brand that you’re trying to put out there;” he insists. Also, the interesting part of it is the kind of support I get from my colleagues, especially in the media, when I send out a story and don’t need to solicit for positioning next thing you see it on the cover of the newspaper, or even a picture is on the cover it makes it interesting for me, it makes me look good.

You know, especially when you don’t have to solicit and say please I want the front page and find out that or the next thing you see it on the cover that makes it interesting for me, he enthused.

Waka About Africa queries on his journey so far and when he started PR/ Media Relations with Access bank, Abdul has this to say, there was an opening he revealed that he was sure they must have interviewed a lot of people at the end of the day to God be the glory I got the job. As I said by way of training, resources, and everything I think, the bank is trying and has done well for me, I think I’m enjoying good support, I’m enjoying the support of my immediate boss the group head, and the support of the management.

So, I can’t say that I won’t deliver, even in terms of training, in terms of resources and everything that is there, I think I have enough to be able to deliver.

On what it takes or require for one to occupy the position as bank’s image-maker he quipped O! It Is not even about Access bank rather it is a general thing in the industry and outside banking PR has different branches or different aspects of it, there’s branch manager, reputation management, crisis management, all that come to play in your job role, and job description.

There are so many angles to deal with it. Because the most important thing that you’re trying to do is put your brand there in good lines, letting people know what you’re doing and the benefits they stand to gain if they partner with you. Right now in Access bank, we have over a 45million customers, it’s not a joke, there’s a lot we need to do that we’re still doing to ensure that we keep these customers we also working hard to attracts more, when you say 45 million but we are over 200 million people in Nigeria, this means out of every five people you come across one is at least the customer of Access bank, that’s good for us. And we don’t want to let it go.

We don’t want to lose any of our customers but do all we can to keep them and want to even get more, we’re not only in Nigeria, we’re everywhere now. In Africa, we’re expanding, we are an International Bank, in the UK, in Dubai, in China, even in Lebanon, so it’s no more like it’s only in Nigeria.

We have a lot going for us and we aspire to be the most respected African Bank.

 

Credit: supremeinternationalmagazine.com

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Access Bank To Acquire $300m Worth Angolan Firm, Finibanco

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Access Bank has signed an agreement to acquire 51% majority shareholding in Finibanco Angola S.A from Montepio Holding SGPS S.A, the parent company, Access Holdings Plc revealed.

The Nigerian commercial bank purchased existing shares owned by Montepio, the holding company for Banco Montepio, a Portuguese commercial bank.


This will increase the number of branches under Access Bank, which has been ranked as the largest commercial bank in Africa by number of customers. Finibanco have over 20 branches, with a total assets worth $300 million.

Access Bank has been acquiring banks in other African countries to expand its payment gateway between the African and global market trades.

The Nigerian lender had acquired Kenyan lender, Sidian Bank Ltd, African Banking Corporation of Botswana Limited, African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited, as well as Cavmont Bank.

According to a statement by Access Holdings, “The Transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals in Nigeria and Angola is expected to close in the first half of 2023 following fulfillment of customary conditions precedents.

“It will be consummated at 1.0x tangible book value less pre-agreed adjustments to be determined by a customary completion audit. Upon completion of the Transaction, the Bank is expected to increase its shareholding in Finibanco S.A and has reached certain conditional agreements in this regard.” The statement reads.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe, said, “At Access, our vision remains clear as ever and our determination to harness accretive opportunities within and outside Nigeria is our core strategic focus.


“Angola represents an opportunity for our shareholders to participate in what we believe will engender stronger value upside as Africa fully emerges.

“We remain committed to making these disciplined and well-structured investments towards creating a strong, holistic platform that will be competitive, diversified, and compelling for years to come.”

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UBA Foundation Receives Leadership Award In Corporate Social Responsibility

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Africa’s global bank, the United Bank for Africa’s Foundation was recognised as a leader in Corporate Social Responsibility at the 10th anniversary of the Marketing Edge brands and advertising excellence awards in Lagos.

The highly impactful initiatives of the UBA Foundation such as the annual National Essay Competition; Read Africa; Each Teach One; the Food bank, amongst others, are being cascaded across the African continent to reach more people every year.

Through its essay competition initiated more than nine years ago, hundreds of students have received grants to study at tertiary institutions in Africa and the ripple effects are being felt within their communities as more children get a chance to go to university.

Speaking on the leadership award UBA Foundation CEO, Bola Atta noted that there is a lot of work to be done to improve lives.

“We are doing this one step at a time and in different countries across the geography where the United Bank for Africa operates. It is fundamental for people and organisations to give back.

“It is also very African to nurture one’s communities and uplift others around you. So we do what we do with a lot of passion and focus on developing and nurturing’.

Emphasising one of the key initiatives of the Foundation, the National Essay Competition, Atta thanked the organisers of the Marketing Edge award for excellence for the recognition.

“It is good to know we are doing it right and to be reminded that we must do even more. One of my favourite initiatives at the Foundation is the National Essay Competition because I have seen first-hand how it changes lives.

“The award we are receiving is for all the children across Africa who are aspiring for a better life. With the start of a new academic year, the 2022 edition has commenced and we are increasing the prizes by as much as 40%.

“The first prize winner will now receive an educational grant of N5 million to study at any African university; the second and third prizes now stand at N3 million and N2.5 million respectively. This takes into consideration the rising cost of living. We want our students to study well, worry free, so that they may excel”, Atta said.

Managing Director and Publisher of Marketing Edge, John Ajayi, commended the UBA Foundation for its strong footprint across the continent.

“Through its Read Africa Initiative and the scholarship grants, the Foundation has consistently done exceptionally well to transform the lives of many on the continent of Africa. These initiatives are truly impactful”, he stated.

Ajayi further said the awards were borne out of the need to recognise outstanding Game Changers whose relentless support has helped give hope to Africa and at the same time, drive sustainable development.

“These organisations clearly understand that agility, innovation, flexibility, decisiveness and commitment needed to accelerate the pace of change Africa craves for”.

The awards nights attracted dignitaries and Business leaders, from different industries across Nigeria.

UBA Foundation embodies the UBA Group’s CSR objectives and seeks to impact positively on societies through several laudable projects and initiatives.

The Foundation, through its education pillar, has donated hundreds of thousands of books to students in Africa under the ‘Read Africa’ initiative aimed at encouraging and promoting the reading culture in African youths.”

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CBN Raises Interest Rate To 15.5% To Fight Inflation, Attract Foreign Investors

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On Tuesday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) raised its benchmark interest rate, known as Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), to 15.5 percent, the third straight hike this year.

After the two-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, the CBN also raised the cash reserve ratio (CRR) to 32.5 percent from 27.5 percent. The CRR is the share of a bank’s total customer deposit that must be kept with the central bank in the form of liquid cash.

This was in consideration of the persistent rise in inflation rate and fragile growth. Nigeria’s headline inflation accelerated to the highest level in 17 years at 20.52 percent in August 2022, from 19.64 percent in the previous month.

The CBN had in the last few months increased the MPR by a combined 250 basis points to rein in inflation. In its meeting in May 2022, the CBN raised its benchmark interest rate by 150 basis points to 13 percent, the first time in six years. It raised it further in July by 100 basis points to 14 percent.

After the meeting, MPC members unanimously voted to retain other parameters. Consequently, the CBN retained the Asymmetric Corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR: and the Liquidity Ratio at 30 percent.

Godin Emefiele, governor of the CBN, who announced the decision after the meeting said: “The MPC noted with concern the continued aggressive movement in inflation, even after the rate hike at its meeting in May and July 2022, and expressed its unrelenting resolve to restore price stability while providing the necessary support to strengthen the fragile recovery.”

It is expected that the hike in interest rate for three consecutive times will also lure foreign inflows into the country and ease the pressure on the naira.

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