Bank PHB over theÂ weekend signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States Embassy extending its sponsorship of the Fulbright Scholarship for another four years.Â The United States was represented at the signing by Ms Robin Renee Sanders, The Ambassador of the United States of America to Nigeria, at a special dinner organized to mark the event.
The Fulbright Scholarship is considered the U.S. governmentâ€™s premier scholarship program which affords foreign scholars the opportunity to exchange ideas on each othersâ€™ political, economic, educational and cultural institutions.
Bank PHB has since the beginning of the programme in 2007, remained the first and only Nigerian institution to partner with the United States Embassy on the scholarship. Bank PHB says its partnership with the US Embassy demonstrates its mutual commitment to raising leaders who ascribe to possibility thinking and leadership aspirations in their own sphere of influence.
Since Bank PHB took over the sponsorship of the scholarship in Nigeria two Scholars have successfully embarked on the programme. They are Dr Abubakar Momoh of Lagos State University and Dr Gworgwor of University of Maiduguri, while the third scholar, Dr Francis Nwosu of University of Calabar is the 2009/2010 nominee expected to commence his programme later this year.
Bank PHB also has a partnership with U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) which on behalf of the United States of America has strengthened the bankâ€™s ability to finance agricultural loans to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.Â This initiative which is implemented under the Development Credit Authority (DCA) is open for a period of six years. So far, the loan has had over 80% utilization according to Francis Atuche, Managing Director, Bank PHB.
Explaining the rational for Bank PHBâ€™s partnership with the United States, Francis Atuche disclosed that â€œBank PHBâ€™s vision is to be Africaâ€™s integrated Bank. Hence, we believe that as good corporate citizens, how well we are able to touch the future of Africans, and indeed our great country Nigeria, will be determined largely by the contributions we make today in the building and sharpening of our local manpower and developing the nationâ€™s capacity to achieve self sufficiency in food production, a critical input in the fight against poverty in Africa.