In a momentous display of commitment to environmental sustainability, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, a prominent member of the Standard Bank Group, has embarked on a monumental tree-planting campaign.
Partnering with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), the initiative aims to elevate Nigeria’s forest cover from its meager 5% to the recommended 25% of national land cover by 2050, in alignment with guidelines from the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
The grand unveiling of this initiative took place on the 29th of September 2023, at the scenic Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC) nestled within Lagos and serving as the NCF’s headquarters.
Stanbic IBTC’s pledge to this noble cause not only emphasizes access to valuable forest resources but also seeks to bolster biodiversity while curbing the transmission of zoonotic diseases between wildlife and humans.
The tree-planting ceremony was led by Dr. Demola Sogunle, the Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, and Mrs. Tosin Leye-Odeyemi, Head of Sustainability, Risk, and Capital Management at Stanbic IBTC, alongside a distinguished assembly of guests and environmental enthusiasts.
Dr. Sogunle passionately emphasized that this tree-planting initiative aligns seamlessly with Stanbic IBTC’s core values, reflecting their profound commitment to making a social, environmental, and economic impact within society.
He boldly declared that Stanbic IBTC intends to complete the ambitious tree planting program across 10 Nigerian states, including Edo, Ogun, Katsina, Ebonyi, Plateau, Rivers, Cross River, Taraba, Jigawa, and Yobe, by the end of 2023.
Their target is an impressive 3,000 trees in each state. Dr. Sogunle stated, “We are initiating this tree-planting drive as the first of many going forward,” underlining the organization’s enduring commitment to addressing climate change issues and fostering a hospitable environment for all Nigerians.
Dr. Joseph Onoja, Director General of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, commended Stanbic IBTC for its commendable efforts, expressing hope that both public and corporate entities in Nigeria will follow suit and engage in large-scale tree planting initiatives across the country’s geopolitical zones.
He further articulated, “I recommend this practice to every Nigerian; planting trees plays an essential role in our ecosystem and contributes significantly to a sustainable and healthier planet.”
Representing the Honourable Commissioner of Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, Deputy Director, Conservation and Ecology of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Olabode Adeola, emphasized the necessity of citizen involvement in this endeavor.
He advocated for citizens to plant trees in their own spaces, cultivate rooftop gardens, and participate in community gardening projects to make a substantial impact.
Mr. Adeola also underlined the significance of collaboration between State Governments and financial institutions like Stanbic IBTC.
He stated, “In addition to individual efforts, State Governments must collaborate with financial institutions like Stanbic IBTC. By partnering with these stakeholders, we can develop innovative solutions, share resources, and create a collective impact that will transform our city into an oasis of green.”
The tree planting ceremony at the Lekki Conservation Centre was graced by the presence of the management staff of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, further underscoring the collaborative spirit behind this commendable effort to enhance Nigeria’s forest cover and promote a more sustainable and biodiverse future.
Stanbic IBTC’s dedication to environmental sustainability, as evidenced by this initiative, highlights its commitment to a greener and more prosperous Nigeria.
This remarkable undertaking aligns with global efforts to combat climate change, safeguard biodiversity, and create a healthier, more habitable planet for current and future generations. Stanbic IBTC is truly leading the charge towards a sustainable and greener Nigeria.
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