Sterling Bank Plc has partnered the Abia State Government to keep Umuahia, the state capital and its environs, clean as part of efforts to improve the environmental and sanitary conditions of the state.
The Tide learnt that the bank in Abia State, over the years, has not only been talking about keeping the environment clean, but has been working the talk in Umuahia and Aba.
Penultimate Saturday, members of staff of the bank left the comforts of their offices to areas perceived as the dirtiest parts of the two major cities in the state, especially Isi-Gate in Umuahia and worked to the admiration of the residents.
Speaking after the exercise, which lasted from 7:00 a.m to 9:00 a.m, with all the bank staffers in the state in attendance, Regional Business Executive, South-East 1 of the bank, Ubong Isong, disclosed that Sterling was partnering with the state government through the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA) to keep the state clean under its Sterling Environmental Makeover (STEM).
He said that by doing that, the bank creates awareness for the people to keep their environment clean.
Isong, son of a former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, the late Dr Clement Isong, revealed that apart from keeping the environment clean and equally creating awareness for people to do the same, stated that through the programme, Sterling Bank has helped small and medium industries in Aba and Abia State as a whole to grow by buying all the kits and equipment used in the exercise from local manufacturers.
“The environmental kits we give out during the sanitation exercise were hitherto imported, but we now buy them locally from manufacturers in Aba and even distribute to other states,” he said, adding that it was a way of encouraging local manufacturers.
On the impact of the exercise, which the bank that has been in operation in the state for the past 10 years, had carried out periodically over the years, Isong said: “We’ve taken stock about the impact of the exercise and this has given us the urge to continue. In fact, when we decided to come to Umuahia this time around, the people of Aba were crying, asking us why we were moving it because they so much enjoyed what we did when we were there last time.
“But we will touch everywhere in the state to create the awareness so that people will see the need to keep their environment clean all over the state and that is why we are in Isi-Gate (Umuahia) this time around and we will be alternating it”.
The regional business executive said it was not only through environmental exercise that Sterling Bank gives bank to society.
His words: “We do not give back to society through the environmental exercise alone, there are several other things we do. But this one is special to us; we keep this one very close to our hearts, so we are very dedicated in this. For instance, we donated incubators to some hospitals; we are involved in so many other things all over the country. But this one, Sterling Environmental Makeover (STEM) is very dare to us and we do it in 15 locations simultaneously across the country”.
The Manager of the bank in Abia, Damian Onyebara, said that the spectacular thing about this quarter’s exercise was that it was the first time of bringing it to Umuahia, having concentrated in Aba all these while.
“And, of course, again this one is unique because the Speaker of the state House of Assembly is here and the corps members are also involved,” he pointed out.