History was made last weekend when Access Bank Nigeria Plc last weekend held the graduation ceremony and presentation of certificates to the first set of female trainees that were successfully trained on how to drive.
Access Bank says it is committed to women’s empowerment, and takes women’s needs seriously which has fueled its passion for the W-Initiative.
The W Initiative is the home of everything Access Bank has to offer women. ‘W’ speaks to the strength that every woman around the world carries.
It is about women, the Nigerian women, and women around the world. This new approach to banking women according to the bank provides banking solutions to meet their financial and lifestyle needs.
The Ladies Let’s Drive initiative is one of such solutions by the W Initiative of Access Bank in conjunction with the Federal Road Safety Corps that provides a novel platform for women to attain the necessary driving skills and support to ease their mobility.
One of the many ways women are empowered under this program is access to driving lessons and certification at discounted prices across the country. This training is deployed by two FRSC-accredited driving schools-AA Rescue Limited and Ace Driving School.
This initiative was launched in July and in the last 5 months, over 1,800 people have indicated interest to participate and over 120 women have been directly impacted by this initiative.
According to Oluwadamilola Osoyemi, program co-ordinator, the driving lessons held in 7 states in the country, namely Abuja, Akwa Ibom, Benin, Calabar, Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, and Port Harcourt.
This graduation is being hosted to celebrate the success of all the women who have successfully concluded the training and to help other women appreciate the credibility and impact of the program on their daily lives.
It re-emphasizes Access Bank’s commitment to women’s empowerment and positions us as the Bank of choice for women of all ages.
Speaking during the ceremony, Victor Etuokwu, deputy managing director, retail banking north, expressed satisfaction that, the driver’s training programme conducted by the bank on quarterly basis is primarily aimed at empowering women in Nigeria to be better drivers, adding that, the exercise which started many months ago can add value to the female graduands and how they are able to explore the vast and varied opportunities presented by what they have learnt in the future.
He declared that, the training programme shows the high level of importance attached to women in the society, adding that, the training shows how deliberate Access Bank is when women are concerned.
‘’Training and empowering women in Nigeria is something we believe in, and something that we as a bank know that it is right and genuine for us as a bank and as a business. And banking with them has been exceptionally working for us and in this bank, we are very proud to work with women’’. Etokwu said.
Etuokwu stated that, the womenfolk is part of Access Bank life that the management and staff cherish and take away women as part of everyday existence, adding that focused women, Access Bank connects women and empower them.
He added that, the driver training progrmme for women is geared towards empowering women and assisting them in becoming useful to themselves and become useful to themselves and their family members.
In the submission of the Etuokwu, ‘’Women are the most responsible drivers today, they are very careful, are scared of having a scratch on their vehicle and when they smile at the male driver, he will obey, but that is not the case with the females while driving’’.
He told the audience that women drivers are such good drivers, that while on motion that insurance companies charged them less premium for cover because they are more careful and more considerate on the road than the male drivers.
Empowering more women to drive keeps our roads safe and if we have more of them to driver, it will be safer and if we have more women on the roads, I can assure you, that there will be less accidents and less casualties on our roads.
That is why Access Bank is involved in the project, to get more women driving, certified to drive on the road. The bank is also willing to finance the purchase of new vehicles by the female graduands at a very good interest rates irrespective of the number of requests from the beneficiaries, even if it is 10,000 or even 100,000,
Apart from the female driver training programme, the deputy managing director says, Access Bank is more than a bank. “We are just like an ecosystem, delivering services to our customers in Nigeria and across Africa’’.
In his submission, ‘’We are ready to help you to finance a car, we will also support you get your driver’s license and an insurance cover after buying the car from Access Bank. This is a commitment that we are making because we don’t want this relationship to stop here’’. He added.
The women empowerment programme will be a nationwide project that can target an estimated 10,000 people in partnership with the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC), even as plans are underway to get additional driving schools in the future as the number of interested trainees increases across the states.
In attendance during the event includes Esther Uzoma, an assistant corps commander and unit commander of the Federal Roads Safety Corps, Victoria Island, Mirion Nadrinski, mamaging director of A.A. Rescue and Chuks Maha, head of health, safety, security and environment at Access Bank.
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