Sterling Bank Plc said it has committed over N500 million to various activities under its Sterling Environmental Make-Over (STEM) social responsibility initiative in the last five years.
The Managing Director of Sterling Bank Plc, Yemi Adeola said in a statement on Sunday in Lagos that the decision was because of its concern with the current poor state of the environment and its impact on the health of Nigerians,
Adeola said those activities included partnership with agencies responsible for waste management in 14 states of the country, tree planting and the national cleaning exercise.
The Sterling Bank boss explained that the bank decided to collaborate with celebrities to connect with their audiences.
”Many of them have become inspirational figures to a lot of people”, he said.
He noted that the partnership with Funke Akindele-Bello at the Oyingbo cleaning exercise was informed by her character and passion for promoting cleanliness and a sustainable environment as she has impacted several lives.
Adeola said, “Getting her on board was very apt because she believes strongly in what we are doing, and what we stand for”
“STEM is an initiative which started eight years ago, and essentially covers all the programmes which Sterling Bank runs geared towards caring for our environment.
“So far, about half a billion naira has been invested in this initiative.
“When STEM started, the primary focus was the kitting of highway managers and sweepers in the employment of the Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA).”
The managing director said that asides Lagos, the bank had extended the partnership to 14 other states in the country and gave 25,000 units of the uniforms to LAWMA on a yearly basis.
According to him, this has been beneficial to sweepers, as the reflective uniforms are seen from a distance by motorists and gives a sense of identity to the sweepers and highway managers.
“Beyond provision of uniforms, staff of the bank, as part of our employee volunteer programme, regularly participate in nationwide street cleaning efforts.
“Also, Sterling Bank has invested in tree planting to address the challenge of desertification in the country.
“We started our tree planting efforts in 2016 with Bauchi, Gombe and Plateau States.
“We intend to extend this to at least seven more states in 2017, with our goal being to lead the movement to promote environmental sustainability in the country.”
Adeola assured that the bank would strive to continuously demonstrate the value it placed on human life, showcase the dignity in labour and the pride associated not only with cleanliness but with cleaning.
On why the bank brought other institutions on board to take part in the exercise, Adeola explained that despite the fact that Sterling Bank initiated STEM, it goes beyond the bank.
“Our desire is for this initiative is to grow beyond us. It is essentially a clarion call for all of us to come together and ensure that we leave our environment better than we met it,” he added.
He assured that Sterling Bank would continually engage in initiatives that would protect the environment especially those that were connected to the protection of lives.
He noted that was achieved through its renowned partnership with agencies of government responsible for the promotion of a clean environment and good health among Nigerians.