Lagos State Government, corporate institutions and well-meaning Nigerians have continued to pour commendations on Ecobank, the pan-African bank for its effort on ridding the streets and waterways of Lagos of bio-degradable plastic bottles.
Ecobank was at the weekend presented with the 2019 CSR Marble Award of Excellence at an event organized by a renowned public relations company, AS+A Communications in Lagos.
Speaking at the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) forum, exhibitions and awards ceremony in Lagos, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, said the award for Ecobank was well deserved, noting that the Bank has demonstrated high degree of consistency in tackling environmental issues and thereby enhancing healthy living across the country.
The commissioner said that the bank’s effort at removing plastic bottles from the streets of Lagos is assisting the government to make the environment safer for people to live, urging other Corporate organizations to emulate the Pan African Bank.
“We are impressed with what Ecobank is doing in the state ecosystem. Its collaboration with relevant government agencies as part of its CSR initiatives to get rid of used plastic bottles from streets is making the state safer for people to live and do business. I implore other Corporate organizations to partner with us to make the ecosystem safer for habitation,” the commissioner said.
Also speaking in the same vein, President, African Public Relations Association (APRA), Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya commended Ecobank for raising the bar of CSR activities in the protection of the environment. He advised the Bank not to relent in its efforts until the livable environment is achieved.
Managing Director, AS+A Communications, the organisers of the event said Ecobank deserves the award based on its past and current efforts in the protection of the environment.
“Annually, we recognize and honour socially responsible personalities and institutions of the high esteem in areas of national development and most especially their landmark achievements in the area of human capacity development as well as other social and environmental development initiatives. Ecobank fit this description. We salute the bank’s initiatives and we believe this award would further spur them to do better in helping humanity,” she said.
Responding to the accolades, the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan, said the award validates the positive impact of Ecobank’s CSR strategy, noting that the award further reinforces the bank’s determination to support in the protection of the ecosystem.
Speaking further, he said it is a deliberate policy of Ecobank Nigeria to embark on sustainable projects that impact people and the environment. He noted that in May this year, Ecobank informed Lagos residents to exchange plastic bottles for cash at designated locations across the state. The collectors are incentivized with N30 for every kilogram of plastic bottle collected. The bank he said had set a target to remove 4 million plastic bottles, and so far, over two million plastic bottles have been successfully exchanged for cash.
Mr Akinwuntan also disclosed that a week tagged ‘Ecobank sustainability week’ was set aside in May, during which symposia were organised for secondary schools’ students to create awareness on tackling plastic wastes and other environmental issues amongst other activities that focus on environmental sustainability.
The Bank MD said he was dedicating the award to his staff and customers of the bank who worked relentlessly towards maintaining high sustainable standards that have earned them the award. He assured that Ecobank will continue to embark on initiatives that impact the people, environment and the economy.