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The 12th edition of the annual GTCO Autism Conference themed “Creating a Community of Awe-Tism Advocates” will hold on Monday and Tuesday, August 29th and 30th, 2022, at MUSON Center, Onikan, Lagos.

 

The annual Autism Conference is a pivotal component of GTCO’s Orange Ribbon initiative and serves as a key advocacy platform for people living with autism and other developmental disorders. In recent years, the GTCO Autism Conference has gained wider acclaim for bringing together some of the world’s leading experts in Autism, especially with the successful coordination of a fully virtual autism conference in 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. For this year, the GTCO Autism Conference will feature keynote addresses and panel discussions by experienced specialists from renowned institutions in Nigeria and abroad in a hybrid set-up to allow for both in-person and virtual participation. Some of the partnering organisations include Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Autism Compassion Africa, Ghana, The Color of Autism Foundation, USA, Meharry Medical College, USA, and Behaviorprise Consulting Inc., Canada.

 

One-on-one consultations and Q&A sessions during the conference will provide opportunities for parents and other stakeholders to further engage on best practices for proper diagnosis and treatment of persons on the autism spectrum with the experts. As a special feature and to ensure more persons with developmental disorders can benefit from professional help, provision has been made to offer specialist care to autistic children in the areas of speech and behaviour therapy, child psychology and psychiatry, as well as occupational development for adults living with autism via in-person consultations at the Chapel of Light, Alausa, Ikeja, starting from Tuesday, August 23rd to Saturday, August 27th between the hours of 10am and 5pm.

 

Commenting on the 2022 Autism Conference, Segun Agbaje, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc said, “While much has been done over the years to increase the social consciousness around Autism and to improve the available support systems for managing developmental disorders, we strongly believe that we can do more individually and collectively to create and uphold a culture of inclusion towards people with ASD to enable them reach their full potential.”

 

Mr Agbaje further stated; “The Orange Ribbon initiative was created to support children and adults with developmental disabilities with a focus on those with autism spectrum disorders. Now in its 2nd decade, the annual Autism Conference has over the years created a community of people with a shared commitment to create better outcomes for those who find themselves in the margins of society simply because they are different from the rest.”

 

Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO) is a leading financial services company providing banking and non-banking services across eleven countries spanning West Africa, East Africa, and the United Kingdom. The Group operates a diversified, proudly African franchise and is renowned for its innovative approach to customer service and stakeholder engagement which has endeared the brand to millions of people across Africa and beyond.

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Business

WITH GIANTS CAMPAIGN, FIRSTBANK IS TRULY WOVEN INTO THE FABRIC OF SOCIETY

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The ‘Giant in you’ campaign of the FirstBank has again confirmed the common expression that ‘apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’ given the history of the financial brand and its legendary relevance to the growth of enterprises, within and outside Nigeria.

 

In its usual creative conjecture, 13O-year-old FirstBank, has hit the airwaves and other media outlets with various visuals to articulate its new campaign ‘The Giant in You’. Breaking down the central message, ‘there is a giant in you’ the campaign stylishly reminds the bank customer that ‘FirstBank Puts You First so you can’ before giving the match order, ‘Live the Giant-Life.

 

For a bank that settles for the big ‘elephant’, as logo and has remained strong for 130 years, worlds like giant, tall and strides, used in the various visuals are simply validations of its robustness, endurance, doggedness and tall ambition. As part of the ways to convey the bank’s message to its array of patrons, SO&U, the creative agency behind the campaign cleverly selected its cast and buildings, including FirstBank’s corporate headquarters, to reflect the bigness, the tallness and the boldness of the 130-year-old financial institution to rule the world as far as banking and business support are concerned.

 

Unraveling the ‘Giant’ strides…

Among other reasons, the new campaign must have been conceptualized to position FirstBank as a ‘giant’ and ‘future-ready’ institution that is dependable, innovative and proactive in supporting its customers and stakeholders win in the race to the future and be in a position to take advantage of the opportunities and possibilities of that emerging future.

 

Driven by the conviction that consumers want to turn their big dreams into giant successes, the new campaign reminds the consumer that in today’s world of constant disruptions and integrated experiences, the customer needs a strong, stable and supportive partner, with the appropriate platforms, innovative solutions and networks to not only support their aspirations but also be responsive and adaptive enough to anticipate their needs and empower them to success.

 

Looking through the visuals and the television commercial, it’s easy to conclude that the campaign narrative is not about the brand but the customer. For instance, the creative path illustrates the world as it moves and changes at lightning speed, the customer is reminded that just like the world, everything within it is also changing, from economies to businesses and even opportunities.

“We recognise that to be in sync with the world will require a forward thinking and future ready mindset …and we have created the atmosphere, products and services to help our customers,” the bank stated.

 

To underscore ‘the big idea’ and the ‘bringing out the Giant in you’ theme, key visuals speak to the essence of the campaign and are accompanied with long and straight legs in a demonstrative form to take the purported giant step. Here the messages are passed under the following; ready to take giant strides?, strides into the future, let’s take giant strides together, stand tall, stand out, think giant solutions, among others.

 

Facts and figures…

Like Coca-Cola, the world number one brand, one other thing that has consistently worked for the FirstBank brand is that the promoters have never, for once allowed complacency to set in. The implication of this is that the bank is not only the oldest, but also one of the most digitally compliant banks. Currently, First Bank stands tall via First Bank digital solutions, employs market-leading digital platforms and solution driven products and services. Besides, the use of AI and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) by the bank enables the financial brand to initiate 85 percent of its transactions via digital platforms leading to quick responses to customers’ needs and satisfaction. In this regard, FirstBank has been recognised by Interswitch as the first financial institution in Nigeria to achieve 100 million sustained monthly transactions in electronic payment and it has hit N1 trillion transactions through the FirstMonie Agent network.

 

 

Speaking during the unveiling of the new thematic brand campaign, Head, Brand and Stakeholder management at FirstBank, Yinka Ijabiyi, reiterated that FirstBank came up with the new campaign because of its belief that there is a ‘giant’ in every customer, every employee and every stakeholder. He said, “This campaign was informed by our belief that there is ‘giant’ in every stakeholder a giant dream, a giant possibility, a giant idea, a giant life and a giant future waiting to be birthed. Our commitment is therefore to provide all necessary business support, financial know-how and platforms to bring out the giant in every customer,”

 

 

Ijabiyi further pointed out that the campaign was conceptualised by the bank in a bid to show customers in its 130 years, that it has been supporting and creating giants and that it has no plan to stop anytime soon. He said the bank, in its celebration of its 130 years in business, came up with a campaign that speaks to the business essence of its brand which is making giants of its customers. “We have always done it and the fact we have been around for such a long time means good to everybody as we have been supporting businesses, individuals and government in those years. “We are making giants and there is no business that interacts with us that does not see the benefits in their business. We are making giants in our customers and we will not stop.

 

“We are the partner with tailored solutions for every customer, employee, and stakeholder. We have what it takes to turn dreams into giant successes. FirstBank’s services are designed to help customers “giant-size” their dreams, offering businesses the platforms and solutions needed to grow, innovate, and achieve remarkable success.” Ijabiyi added that the array of products, solutions and services offered by FirstBank cannot be compared with any financial services in Nigeria.

 

For its customers, the bank said “We would enable, inspire and support you with our world of financial services to help you to giant-size your dreams and live your best life”. It also said it “would give businesses and business owners the right platforms and solutions they need to grow, initiate and execute bold ideas.

 

Meanwhile, the creative agency behind the campaign has hinted to the media that the unveiled materials were mere ‘tip of the iceberg’ as efforts are ongoing to domesticate the same campaign in local languages to connect with customers across the major ethnic groups in Nigeria.

 

A peep into the past…

When the promoters said First Bank was “truly the first, many grudgingly agreed. But deep inside its competitors – the possible grudging camp – is the truth regarding the extreme distance the bank has given others in performance and people relevance of its operations! They knew the bank was not bluffing. Not only has it rediscovered itself, but the ability to shed its ancient mindset in terms of operations and blend with modern trends in banking have left many agreeing that perhaps, the saying that the older the wine the better it gets in taste actually applies to FirstBank. To this end, it’s not by accident that First Bank has produced at least two former governors of the CBN and a Finance Minister, including Chief Joseph Sanusi and the current Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

 

Perhaps the current campaign is an offshoot of a story-telling Television Commercial, by the bank to reflect the beginning of modern banking and how the bank has consistently grown with Nigeria’s enterprises through partnership and innovation.

 

The referenced TVC says it all: A combination of historical renaissance and quite prescient validation of the innovation that usually drives its bewitching communicational ads. From the groundnut pyramids of the north, which was the symbol of the regions commercial edge and the cocoa bean mountains of Western Nigeria to the rubber plantations of the East and Mid-eastern region, First Bank has applied its new campaign to remind its decades-old patrons, customers, and even competitors, that the beat has refused to abate.

 

Throughout the campaign, FirstBank subtly registers itself in the minds of the banking public that it’s entirely Nigerian – past, present, and the future. The well-crafted historical simulation captures how FirstBank opened its first branch in Lagos in 1894 and started helping merchandise and local traders to grow their businesses. The excitement and enthusiasm on the faces of the bank’s early customers after getting their cash books from the Lagos office say it all. Like someone who has gotten a glimpse of what the future holds with banking, the customers express surprises and happiness. The commercial captures the mood and goes back in memory lane on how the bank has helped many people succeed in their ventures. Subtly, the narrator takes viewers to Kano and reveals how the then richest men in the commercial city were making their deposit of 20 bags of Silver in an atmosphere that looks like the first operational day of the bank.

 

Perhaps the beauty of the commercial lies more in the way it strikes a balance between the ancient and the modern days through setting and swapping of background colours. This was cleverly explored in referencing the way the bank transformed into an online haven, driven by technology. While reminding the patrons of the bank’s transformation and technological advancement, the narrator is quick to talk about the expansion of the bank beyond the shores of Nigeria to the West-African region and beyond. The TVC also positions FirstBank as a socially responsible brand by touching on various initiatives it has embarked on. Specifically, First Bank’s contribution to Sports through its support for football and athletics is captured very well.

 

The ‘Giant in You’ is another chapter as the bank begins a fresh journey after operating for 130 years.

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REDAN leadership Visits Adron Homes, commends Efforts of Real Estate to Nigeria’s GDP

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The President of the Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Prince Akinloye Adeoye, along with his Executive team, which consist of Dr Kunle Adeyemi, Vice President, REDAN(South/ West) and Mr Jide Ogunleye, REDAN Secretary visited the Chairman and Group Managing Director of Adron Homes and Properties, Aare Adetola Emmanuel King, at the company’s headquarters in Omole Phase 1, Lagos.

 

During the courtesy visit, the team headed by Prince Akinloye applauded Adron Homes and Properties for its efforts in providing affordable housing schemes and praised the company for consistently bridging the gap between the masses and affordable urban development. Prince Akinloye also commended Adron Homes for transforming many individuals from tenants to landlords, emphasizing the company’s transparency, commitment, and reliability which has set a positive example for other real estate brokers in Nigeria.

 

He highlighted the significant contribution of the real estate sector to Nigeria’s GDP, citing statistics from the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics for Q1 of 2024. He stressed the need for the government to uphold development standards, enhance industry regulations, and eliminate unethical practices in the real estate business. According to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, the real estate sector contributed N11.2 trillion, representing a 5.20% share of the GDP in Q1 of 2024. Although the sector showed nominal growth compared to the previous year, its real GDP growth was lower at 0.84%. He also disclosed that 11 trillion is more than enough to prove that real estate business in Nigeria is a lucrative business that has come to stay and also implored the government to remain committed to upholding tenets of development and enhancing regulation of the industry to meet global practices and also make quackery in the business a thing of the past.

“The construction sector contributed 4.0% to the GDP, with a nominal growth of 10.24%, though it experienced a real growth rate decline of -2.14% year-on-year. Experts attribute this growth to increased government policies and investments, growing population demands for shelter, and significant contributions from the Nigerian diaspora.”

 

The Host, Aare Adetola Emmanuel King also commended the effort of the REDAN President and his team for their listening ears and also their constant proactive steps to ensure the industry is well regulated and all ethics of the industry is upheld. He also disclosed that Adron Homes will always be in partnership with the leadership of REDAN and will remain committed and continue to serve as an example to other real estate players on the issues of integrity and sincerity of purpose. He also disclosed that the visit will further rejig Adron’s commitment to more development of Homes and also continued partnership with the government to ensure affordable homes get more handy for all sundry.

 

Aare Adetola also implores the leadership of REDAN to enact more policies that will further put the business on a high pedestal which will enhance more funding, more investment through Foreign Direct Investment and also getting government support in the reduction of building materials and other household items which is currently serving as a bottleneck for the development of the business which has caused many Real estate companies to fold up, while some have started cutting corners due to high rates of materials.

 

“When materials are quite affordable, real estate will thrive. There would be buyers and off-takers. But with the current prices of cement, wood, nails, paints etc the prices of real estate are soaring high to the roof Government intervention and reducing tariffs on the importation of building materials will help cushion the effect and also put many back in business. Adron Homes and Properties is committed and we are here for collaboration for national development.”

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