In a massive show of endorsement of Sterling Bank’s sustainability campaign known as Sterling Environmental Makeover (STEM), senior officials of the Lagos State Government have paid glowing tributes to the initiative, saying it is in line with the state government’s vision of encouraging residents to show respect for the environment.
Addressing the mammoth crowd at the flag off of the mega cleaning exercise which took place at the Computer Village in Ikeja at the weekend, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, commended Sterling Bank for its outstanding show of commitment to the campaign for a livable environment.
Adejare said, “We need to have more respect for our environment than we do now. The state government cancelled the monthly sanitation exercise because it believed that cleaning the environment should be part of our daily lives and not just a monthly routine.”
The commissioner disclosed that the state government recently introduced the Cleaner Lagos Initiative in a bid to better manage solid waste. He urged participants in the cleaning exercise to extend the practice to their different homes as part of their contribution to the emergence of a cleaner Lagos that is fit for human habitation.
Adejare enjoined residents in Lagos not to block drainages with their refuse but to put them in bags and tie the mouths before leaving them in front of their houses for officials of Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) to pick up.
In his welcome address, Mr. Yemi Adeola, Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank Plc, disclosed that the STEM programme was being held simultaneously in eight other locations across the country. These include the seven state capitals of Ogun, Oyo, Kwara, Rivers, Enugu, Plateau, Kano and in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)
Adeola explained that STEM is the Bank’s corporate social responsibility initiative which promotes sanitation and helps to reduce the impact of human activities on the environment with the aim of making planet earth a clean and safe place for all.
He added that the STEM programme “covers partnership with waste management agencies in 14 states, planting of trees in Bauchi, Gombe and Plateau to combat desertification and an annual national cleaning exercise.”
He said the phenomenon of global warming which triggers flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes, among other natural disasters can no longer be denied. According to him, global warming is not primarily an act of nature. Human activities that lead to the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are dominant influence. These activities are ensuring that global temperature is rising at the fastest rate in 50 years with oceans getting warmer and expanding, thereby causing climate change, expansion of deserts and rise in sea levels.
Calling on Nigerians to treat the environment with care, the Sterling Bank Chief Executive observed that cases of flooding, especially the types experienced in urban neighbourhoods in Nigeria during the wet season, were the result of poor sanitation practices and not acts of nature. He advised Nigerians to pay better attention to the state of their immediate environment and desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse, plastic bottles, empty cans, water sachets and nylons in drainages, canals and highway man-holes.
Also speaking, Engr. Mojeed Babajide, Chairman of Ikeja Local Government, thanked Sterling Bank for the initiative, adding that the local government was very happy to partner with it. He also echoed the commissioner’s plea for refuse to be properly packed for officials of LAWMA to pick them up in a bid to ensure a cleaner Lagos.
Among other highlights, Olamide Adedeji, a popular hip-pop artiste known as Olamide Badoo, the brand ambassador of STEM thrilled the audience with entertainment and encouragement on the need to keep the environment clean.


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