By Abdul Rahman Aliagan
Contentment is the neuro-physiological experience of satisfaction and being at ease in one’s situation, no matter what! It is equally not only the fulfillment of what one wants but realization of how much you already have.
In another parlance contentment is described as a treasury that never goes bankruptcy and one of the prerequisites for happiness in life. Unfortunately, many don’t have it. But when we identify a contented one, we tend to appreciate and celebrate them.
The story of a security staff of the United Bank for Africa Plc. (UBA) Oba Akran branch, Lagos, Ibrahim Ogbanagbo better illustrates the above submissions. Ogbanagbo who demonstrated a highest level of integrity and honesty, found $10,000 cash belonging to a customer, he defied all the temptations and returned it to the customer without given it a second thought! Even at the scorching-sun of economic recession in the country that could have given a good and justifiable ground for him to think otherwise. Ibrahim stood tall and above greed as he allowed integrity to speak volume!
No doubt, Ogbanagbo will forever be grateful and thankful to his organisation, the UBA Group who did not allowed the story gone untold. What can the poor man do, if integrity means nothing to UBA management? But to management, integrity means much and one of the core values where the Bank drives her strength.
For this singular reason, Ogbonagbo was honoured with the Excellence Award for his display of honesty and integrity among other staffs who distinguished themselves in the course of their duties.
At the prestigious annual event that took place on 8th April 2017 at Eko Hotel Expo Centre, Lagos, where UBA gathered customers, captains of industry, dignitaries from politics and diplomacy, staff and Board members from its 19 African country network, to witness the 2017 UBA CEO Awards that also sought to the celebration of the Distinguished securityman, Ogabanagbo.
For making the Bank proud and in adherence strictly to its core value, the Group Chairman, Mr Tony Elumelu mounted stage to congratulate Ogbanagbo personally. Elumelu said that Ogbanagbo exemplified someone who is committed to the hallmarks of Excellence in the execution of his duties.
According to the Group Chairman of UBA, he said, “This is an example to us all. How anyone, no matter their position in our Group can distinguish themselves and set an example. Today, we stand here to celebrate a junior UBA staff member, who returned money that was misplaced and who through this action, gained much more than he could ever have imagined. As a leading pan-African bank, this is what we stand for and we commend Ibrahim Ogbonagbo for living the principle of integrity.”
The event that was first established in 2008 to celebrate outstanding performance within the UBA Pan-African family, showcasing excellence, significant innovation and service in key areas of the Group’s business.
2017 episode reignited the burning spirit that fires UBA on, as she again demonstrated its commitment to excellence in customer service, by celebrating staff who have strived to implement the Bank’s core values of Enterprise, Excellence and Execution.
In one of his remarks, Ogbonagbo thanked God for his upbringing and how much the UBA’s core value which is INTEGRITY inspires him to back-down on the evil thought. “When I think of how the $10,000 could have changed my life and how I could have taken it without anybody’s knowledge, but how my upbringing as well as UBA’s value and focus on Integrity did not allowed him to do so”. He confirmed.
On the faithful night, integrity distinguished Ogbonagbo as all other dignitaries at the occasion honoured him with a standing ovation, as well as rewards from dignitaries in the attendance that came on stage to acknowledge him. The Governor of Adamawa State in Nigeria, Alhaji Bindo Jibrilla pledged the sum of $5,000 and he also received a personal commitment of $10,000 from the Governor of Bauchi state, Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar. The Deputy Senate president, present at the event, Senator Ike Ekwerenmadu said that Ogbanagbo’s name will be announced at the floor of the Senate during plenary and will be given the sum of N5, 000, 000 by the Senate.
Over 10 Awards were given, of each award category, the GMD, Kennedy Uzoka said “We recognise and appreciate that there are so many staff members who have demonstrated aspects of each of our core values, but we have had to single out the very best. We celebrate our Lions and Lionesses who used their ingenuity and creativity, as well as their industry experience and passion, to work tirelessly to deliver excellent service to our customers and to continue to achieve exceptional results within the Group”.
There were winners who had excelled in innovation and execution across Africa. There were also those who were rewarded for their entrepreneurial abilities. The CEO of UBA Ghana, Mrs Abiola Bawuah was chosen in the special award category of “Business Leader who defied all odds and opened up new opportunities for the Bank”. Mrs Bawuah was described by the GMD as “a relentless CEO who breaks barriers, extends the horizon and motivates, inspires and encourages others.”
The event themed, “the Journey of UBA”, brought to life by an African entertainment concept, crisscrossing the length and breadth of Africa and highlighting UBA’s Pan-African vision, starting with its oldest region, West Africa and showcasing East and Southern Africa, as well as the significant presence of an African Bank in New York, London and Paris. There was dance and prose, rhythm and theatre. There were also loved artistes including Dare Art-Alade who opened the show with a terrific rendition of the Nigerian National Anthem, Adekunle Gold, Dr. Sid, Flavor N’abania, P-Square, Awilo Longomba from the Congo and the undisputed King of Juju music, King Sunny Ade. Guests and dignitaries, management and staff of UBA found themselves letting their hair down and throwing protocol to the wind.
The Bank was honoured by the presence of their Excellencies, the Governors of Adamawa and Taraba States, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ekweremadu, Governor Donald Duke, Alhaji Abdul- Samad Rabiu and many others. The ceremony also witnessed the presence of key industry players, diplomats, ministers and key influencers in Nigeria, as well as the CEOs and Board Chairmen of the 19 African countries in which UBA operates.
A night which can be best described as a night full of lesson; a UBA’s Night of Integrity will continue to linger in the memories of the management, staffs as well as audience at the occasion. For sure, the celebrants of the night, particularly, Mr Ibrahim Ogbonagbo will never go without rededicating their lives for better optimisation on their jobs with more vigour, dedications and commitments to the organisation that celebrates them that much!