Access Bank Bags 2014 Financial Institution Award

Nigerian Tribune, 05 Dec 2014 (by Chima Nwokoji)

One of the five largest Nigerian banks, Access Bank, has emerged as the winner of the 2014 Financial Institution Award, organised by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN).

The award was given at the PETAN 2014 Annual Oil Industry Award Dinner, held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Wednesday.

Access Bank, as part of its continued growth strategy, has focused on mainstreaming sustainable business practices into its operations, striving to deliver sustainable economic growth that was profitable, environmentally responsible and socially relevant.

Speaking with newsmen after receiving the award on behalf of the bank’s management and staff, its Relationship Manager (Oil and Gas Desk), Charles Odum, said Access Bank had been financing the oil and gas sector for several years, in compliance with the Local Contents Act.

“So, it is in recognition of our efforts and support, that is why PETAN has called upon us and nominated us to receive the 2014 Financial Institution Award of the Year. That is why we are here.

“Access Bank has been very creative, over the years, in packaging loans for the oil and gas industry-upstream, midstream, downstream, indigenous companies, oil traders and international oil companies,” he said.

Disclosing that the several millions of dollars were budgeted by the bank to finance the oil sector, Odum said the award had been a long while coming, adding, “It is in recognition of all the things we have done for the industry and for other industries as well.”

He said the award would spur Access Bank to continue to do more for the industry and added, “To whom much is given, much is expected. So obviously, this will give us the added drive to do more to ensure that our recognition is not just for the sake of it.

“We will continue to support the oil and gas companies; we will continue to be a key financial institution supporting the whole industry in Nigeria. So, it is definitely going, in long way, to spur us to do more for the industry, for the Nigerian economy in general.”

Speaking against the backdrop of the continual global fall of oil prices, Odum disclosed that Access had always been focused in the diversification of its asset portfolios.

“We have financing in the oil and gas industry, in the manufacturing sector and in so many sectors. So, it is diversified; as a bank, we don’t our eggs in one basket. We are prudent and we always know what to do at every point in time”, he said.

Earlier in his welcome address, PETAN chairman, Emeka Ene, commended Access Bank, saying it applied ‘out of the box’ strategies to support the Nigerian oil service companies with long term financing solutions.

He said the association had been championing the local content initiative in the oil and gas sector for more than 14 years, adding that the theme of the event, ‘Monetizing Our Gas Resources for Transforming Nigeria’s Economy’, was relevant to resolving the growth and capacity development challenge of the industry in the face of the global oil dynamics.

“We still have lots of ground to cover in the local content journey. Nigeria is no longer a low cost producer of oil and needs to leverage the cost advantage of local content in a consistent and deliberate strategy from policy makers to IOCs, to Nigerian independent...

“The Nigerian oil service industry represents the anchor for our economy during these turbulent times. The skills and best practices honed in the oil industry already trickles to the rest of the economy. Gas is high on the agenda for power,’’ he said.