By Omoh Gabriel, Business Editor,
Washington: Zenith International Bank, two prominent Nigerian Bankers and three other banks on Saturday in Washington won accolades from African business community and fellow African Bankers as they were honoured with awards. The Banker Award 2008 organised by African Business Margazin which was supported by African development held at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington at which the African Business and banking communities were well represented. The Governor of the Central bank of Nigeria Professor Chukwuma Soludo and Oby Ezekwuesili were star Nigerian Guest at the function.
Zenith was singled out of the several Banks in Africa as the Best Global Bank in Africa . Last year the bank won the most socially responsible bank in the continent. UBA which won last year the emerging global bank in Africa had its managing Director winning the African Banker of the year. Stanbic/IBTC won the best Issuing House in Africa award.
Otunba Subomi Balogun won the Life Time achiever award in recognition of his pioneering effect in Marchant Banking in Nigeria. Fidelity Bank which was not represented at the annual meetings won the Socially Responsible Bank of the year award. Intercontinental Bank on its part bang the African Banker of the year award.
It was not an all Nigerian affairs as other African Banks were recognised and conferred with deserving award. Needbank of South Africa this year won the most gender sensitive ward while development bank award went to the Development Bank of Sorthern Africa. Standard Bank of South Africa also won Deal of the year award as Investment Bank of the year award went to Renaisance Capital. Micro-finance bank of the year award was won by Banque de la Habitat de Tunisia while the Most Innovative bank award went to Ecobank Transnational, Togo. The Central Bank Governor of Ghana was honoured and recognised with the award of Africa Central Bank Governor of the year while the Finance minister of Malawi was honoured with the award of Finance Minister of the Year.
Zenith Bank Assistant General Manager Corporate Communication Mr. Timeyin Ejoor was on hand to receive the award on behalf of the bank.
There cannot be any doubt that over the past 18 years of its existence, Zenith Bank has succeeded in entrenching itself in the Nigerian banking industry as a leader in providing innovative customer services solutions. It has particularly played the pioneering role in bringing to existence most of the IT-based services that now dot the industry. Not only this, the Bank is constantly on the move technologically all in its desire to always move to the next level in the customer services strategy.
About a decade ago, the Bank became the first in the industry to offer on-line, real time services to customers. This revolutionalised customer services delivery and brought about unprecedented convenience in its wake as operators endeavoured to achieve maximum branch coverage with this service for competitive advantage.
Similarly, the Bank became the first to build its own website and went ahead to equip the site with substantial e-banking capabilities.
These pioneering roles inspired Zenith Bank to subsequently develop a number of other leading I-T products such that the Zenith franchise has become synonymous with Information Technology in Nigeria. Some of these products include Electronic Point of Sale, Zenith Flowline, Zenith Automated Direct Payment System, Etranzact, Zenith Siftpay, Z-Save Card, Z-Credit Card, Web-Surffer Card, Z-Travelex Cash Passport, Z-Mobile Commerce etc.
Perhaps, one other area it has of recent tried to replicate earlier technological successes is in the ATM technology. Some few months ago, it launched a unique and first ever branded ATM Galary in Lagos.