Group Head, Communications and External Relations, Access Bank Plc, Amaechi Okobi (Left); Group Head, Inclusive Banking, Access Bank Plc, Ope Wemi-Jones; Chief of Field Office-Partnership, UNICEF, Manuel Rosini; and Captain, Fifth Chukker, Babangida Hassan at the Access Bank UNICEF Charity Shield Polo Tournament press conference in Lagos… yesterday.
They have come from all parts of the world to vie for honours at the 2017 Access Bank-UNICEF Charity Shield Polo tournament, which is scheduled to hold at Fifth Chukker Polo & Country Resort, Kaduna, from May 15 to May 21, 2017.
This is the biggest charity polo event in Africa this year and 15 teams have registered to fight for the laurels on offer at the event.Among the teams are four high-goals sides fortified with the best Nigerian players and professionals from Argentina, England and South Africa. They will compete in the big stake Charity Shield playing for four equally matched teams from Lagos, Abuja, Keffi and Kaduna.
The prestigious Access Bank Cup would feature 12 regular teams and some ambitious debutants in a potentially explosive challenge.A special event to mark the Centenary of Kaduna City and Children’s Day celebration would form part of the major highlights of the 2017 edition of the tournament Unveiling the programme for this year’s event, Group Head, Inclusive Banking, Access Bank Plc, Ope Wemi-Jones said the bank had maintained its yearly commitment in supporting UNICEF towards its projects for orphans and vulnerable children.
“This year’s tournament is more than an affirmation of our commitment to socio-economic wellbeing of mankind and acknowledgement of the impact the initiative has had on the lives of vulnerable children in northern Nigeria, especially in Kaduna State. It is also an opportunity for providing special care for Access Bank’s customers through our Inclusive Banking services.”
Fifth Chukker Polo Captain, Babangida Hassan, expressed his club’s commitment to the partnership with Access Bank and UNICEF, adding, “As the level of play continues to raise the bar in Nigerian polo and captures a truly international following, the charity work follows in a similar fashion.”
Also speaking on the tournament, UNICEF Chief of Field-Partnership, Manuel Rosini said, “We are hoping to get more children needing support, for instance, children orphaned by HIV/AIDS – especially the girl child into schools.”
Rosini also disclosed through the Access Bank and Fifth Chukker partnership, the school project at Maraban Jos in Kaduna has witnessed a 35 percent increase in enrolment from a little over 8000 last year to 11,000 this year.
“We have no doubt created the space for a lot of them to enjoy their rights to education through this partnership, but we aim to seek more community participation to achieve greater results,” he stated.”
He disclosed UNICEF was working to expand its partnership with Access Bank “to advocate the realisation of children’s rights,” adding, “there are millions of Nigerian children out of school and many of them are from the north. “I do believe the power of education will transform the society.”