StanbicIBTC is one of the few Corporate Entities in Nigeria, whose intervention has impacted lives especially in communities affected by natural disasters, writes YEMISI IZUORA
Flooding is one of major impacts of climate change currently ravaging several countries in different magnitudes.
The negative consequences of flooding are usually more pronounced in developing countries, and Nigeria is experiencing this across its geopolitical zones.
Poor urban planning, population growth and poor regional cooperation in the use of natural resources such as rivers and lakes are also factors that contribute to incidences of flooding, for instance, in Nigeria.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in 2018 earmarked 12 states as frontline states to be affected by flooding in that year and by September 2018, a national disaster had been declared in the four worst affected states while the others were flagged under red alert. In one of its reports in 2018, NEMA revealed that 327,052 people were directly affected in the 12 flooded states of which 77,460 were displaced. There were 70 recorded cases of loss of life and 151 injuries. Displaced individuals also faced a higher risk of contracting diseases such as malaria and cholera on account of living in makeshift/temporary shelters and poor water supply.
Along with the efforts of the federal and state governments, succour came to the victims of the 2018 floods in the form of support from notable corporate organizations who responded as part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives.
One of such organizations was Stanbic IBTC Holdings which made a timely intervention to ameliorate the plight of the flood victims. The institution donated relief materials to victims in five of the affected states namely Jigawa, Katsina, Delta, Rivers and Ogun states.
Upon selecting the states that would benefit from the relief materials, Stanbic IBTC immediately deployed staff on ground in these states/regions to conduct thorough impact assessments of the affected locations as well as living conditions in the relief shelters. Major considerations included; food, potable water, health/hygiene and comfort. The institution also identified and partnered with relief agencies in the respective locations.
Therefore in meeting the need for potable water for instance, boreholes were provided in shelters for which potable water was lacking; a major boost to the prevention of water borne diseases such as cholera and diarrhea. In addition, ample supply of water also fosters the attainment and maintenance of better hygiene levels.
For the comfort of the victims, Stanbic IBTC provided mattresses with blankets and bed sheets, treated mosquito nets were also provided to prevent the scourge of malaria. The financial institutions also provided soaps and detergents among other essentials.
For the displaced victims, for many of whose sources of livelihoods had either been completely damaged or destroyed, adequate feeding was a major issue. For these non-perishable food items (in packets, tins, etc) were provided and distributed.
For Stanbic IBTC, Corporate Social Investment is ingrained in its corporate philosophy and DNA, it says it’s just as critical as adhering to the highest corporate governance principles. It is viewed as part of its business operations. This partly explains why its flagship CSI initiative, tagged Together for a limb checks all the boxes on novelty, innovativeness and multidimensional approach to transforming the lives of indigent children who have suffered limb loss(es). Beneficiaries are offered prostheses and educational trust funds of N1.5m each. They are thus provided quality education along with the improved quality of life that the prostheses provision engenders.
The beneficiaries being young growing children also get a replacement of their prostheses as they grow and as required until they turn 18 years of age. Therefore the beneficiaries receive regular health checks as their usage of the prostheses is monitored and additionally get a comprehensive medical check every time replacement prostheses are to be fitted.
Stanbic IBTC goes further to bring attention to the plight of citizens with limb losses through an annual charity walk that is incorporated in its annual events calendar. In fact, the launch of the Together for a limb initiative in December 2015 was preceded by the charity walk on November 14 of that same year and the charity walk has been held every year ever since, usually preceding the unveiling of beneficiaries for the year to further raise public awareness for the cause. So far, 20 young Nigerians have benefitted from this initiative.
As its tagline, “Moving Forward” suggests, the organization has a desire for a nation with prosperous citizens but also understands that beyond corporate CSI, a lot more mileage will also be covered by the active involvement of individuals. Therefore it has encouraged and actively promoted a staff volunteer scheme for all its employees.
Volunteering enables individuals to connect better with their communities to make them better places while offering a lot of benefits to the volunteers themselves. Expert opinions that outline the many benefits of volunteering are replete in health and business journals.
According to the Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Mr. Yinka Sanni, the staff CSI and volunteer scheme has seen staff contribute and invest over N100 million towards various charitable courses that cover health, education and economic empowerment, which are the core CSI pillars of Stanbic IBTC.
Employees with similar interests are encouraged form groups and raise funds to address respective causes that each group has identified with. Consequently, the staff volunteer scheme has donated classrooms, libraries, health facilities, boreholes and other social interventions over time across Nigeria.
Along with carrying out its core business operations, Stanbic IBTC has consistently promoted deliberate social investment programmes to improve the lot of individuals and communities across Nigeria. Its 360 approach which has birthed the employee volunteer scheme is further extending the frontiers of and giving a new meaning to CSI in Nigeria.