President Muhammadu Buhari, has appointed the Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Roosevelt Ogbonna, to the Presidential High-Level Advisory Council on Support to Women and Girls.
The appointment is seen as recognition of the Bank’s sustained efforts towards women empowerment through access to adequate financing and literacy while promoting advocacy and specialised training.
On his appointment, Ogbonna affirmed, “This feat signifies a more significant responsibility to ensure gender equality, equal access to opportunities and national development through purposeful long-term initiatives targeted at women. Being appointed by the Presidency signifies that we are doing something right at Access Bank and also points to the impact of our various initiatives and vocational training programs on the larger society.
“Indeed, every individual, irrespective of status, organisation or tribe, has a part to play in ensuring the rights of women and girls are upheld. As we enter the month of the woman, we must recognise that gender equality is a fundamental human right and a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable nation. Therefore, all public and private stakeholders must work collaboratively to embrace equality, ensure women have a voice and have the right support to thrive,” Ogbonna concluded.
Since unveiling the ‘W’ Initiative in 2014, Access Bank has worked to accelerate a new and more substantial wave of hitherto scanty female entrepreneurs in Nigeria. In addition to financial inclusion and liberation, the ‘W’ initiative is a one-stop shop for all Access Bank’s women empowerment offerings. Some of these include capacity-building programs, mentoring programmes, and maternal health services, all aimed at helping to build a bigger, stronger and more sustainable society.
Since Ogbonna’s appointment as the MD/CEO of Access Bank PLC, he has consolidated the Bank’s various initiatives to ensure equal access to opportunities and social infrastructure among women. Under his stewardship, Access Bank signed a commitment letter with the DFC for $280 million in financing to help address the financing gap for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and advance financial inclusion in Nigeria, and aid the Bank’s commitment to supporting women-owned and led businesses.